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Penalties on homeless taxpayer for failure to file

11 March 2019
Issue: 4687 / Categories: Tax cases
K Pokorowski (TC6970)

The taxpayer was a self-employed electrician sharing a house in London until April 2014. After a visit to Poland he returned to the UK but lost his job used up his savings and was evicted from his house. He reported that his belongings were lost or stolen. By January 2017 he was living in hostel accommodation but later found a job and moved to permanent lodgings.

In April 2015 HMRC issued him a notice to file a 2014-15 return sent to his pre-2014 address which was the last it had on file. The taxpayer filed the return in July 2017 but in the meantime HMRC had imposed late filing penalties also sent to his former address. The department said it was the taxpayer’s responsibility to notify HMRC if he changed address and to complete a tax return by the deadline. His circumstances were...

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