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No proof that notice to file was dispatched

11 February 2019
Issue: 4683 / Categories: Tax cases , Admin , Self assessment
G Pantelli (TC6929)

HMRC imposed penalties on the taxpayer because he failed to file self-assessment tax returns for 2014-15 and 2015-16. He appealed saying he had not received notices to file for those years.

The First-tier Tribunal said it was for HMRC to prove that the notices had been sent and the returns had not been made. In this case the department produced a computer record headed ‘return summary’ which bore the taxpayer’s name tax reference and National Insurance number. Under the column ‘return issued date’ there was the date ‘06/04/2015’. 

The judge said this fell ‘well short of being sufficient evidence to prove even to a civil standard that a notice to file was actually sent to’ the taxpayer. The 6 April date appeared on everyone’s return summary but the reality was that HMRC posted these notices on a staggered basis. He said: ‘The record is...

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