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Late return

16 October 2017
Issue: 4620 / Categories: Tax cases

R Northam (TC6125)

Timing of reasonable excuse

The taxpayer filed his 2011-12 tax return online in October 2013 some eight months late. HMRC imposed penalties. He claimed reasonable excuse for the late submission. He had signed the form before 31 January but left it to his accountants to send to HMRC – which they promised to do. He was too ill with chronic depression to check they had submitted the form.

The First-tier Tribunal referred to Sudall (TC5868). It agreed with the judge who in that appeal said: ‘For the defence of reasonable excuse to be available there must in all cases be a reasonable excuse for the initial failure to file on time.’

In this case if the taxpayer had a reasonable excuse on 31 January that would ‘exonerate him from not just the £100 late filing penalty but also the daily penalties and six month penalty’. In essence...

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