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Computer is not a person

11 December 2017
Issue: 4628 / Categories: Tax cases

Khan Properties Ltd (TC6225)

Validity of late filing penalty notice

The taxpayer should have filed its return by 31 March 2017 but it arrived on 16 May. In the meantime HMRC issued a late filing penalty.

The taxpayer appealed.

The First-tier Tribunal said HMRC’s submission failed to address the issue of burden of proof which was ‘quite clearly’ its responsibility. The judge then considered whether the penalty was valid. He said the notice had been issued by HMRC CT Services Corporation Tax Services HMRC UK but that no name was given. Yet the penalty stated ‘I attach …’

In his view TMA 1970 s 100(1) required a ‘flesh and blood human being who is an officer of HMRC’ to assess the penalty and that person should be named in the notice so the recipient knows to whom an appeal should be addressed. This was not the case...

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