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Health problems are not an excuse

15 September 2020
Issue: 4760 / Categories: Tax cases
S Pirasana (TC7814)

HMRC issued the taxpayer a 2017-18 tax return on 9 August 2018. He filed the return on paper at the end of August 2019. It should have been filed by mid-November 2018 and was therefore more than nine months late. HMRC imposed late filing penalties against which the taxpayer appealed. He said he had a reasonable excuse because he became depressed and as a result was unable to deal with his tax affairs.

The First-tier Tribunal said there was no suggestion that the taxpayer’s depression led to any other functional impairment so it was unlikely to have been the cause of his failure to file. Further a reasonable taxpayer struggling with depression would have sought help with his tax returns if he was unable to complete them himself. The taxpayer also had an eye complaint but again the tribunal said a reasonable person would have...

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