A Reasonable Excuse doesn’t have to be an Exceptional excuse.

Mr Leachman (trading as Whiteley and Leachman) had not filed his P35 end of year return, in the mistaken belief that his accountant would do so. HMRC imposed a penalty for late filing after refusing to accept he had a reasonable excuse.

The Tax Tribunal rejected HMRC’s contention that a reasonable excuse requires
exceptional circumstances.  The Judge said:  “Parliament has used the ordinary English words ‘reasonable excuse’ which are in everyday use and must be given their normal and natural meaning.”

The Tribunal also confirmed that a penalty charged by HMRC was in the nature of a criminal penalty. Consequently, HMRC had the burden of proving the absence of a Reasonable Excuse.

The FTT found that HMRC had failed to discharge that burden and so the taxpayer’s appeal was upheld.

Do I need specialist help with my tax appeal?
The taxman uses specialist ‘Appeals’ teams to lead its cases at Tribunal.  Lynam Tax Dispute Experts have decades of experience in handling contentious tax appeals and can assist taxpayers and their accountants with the process; in order to achieve the optimum results.
*If you need help with a difficult tax dispute or a contentious tax appeal call Paul Lynam now for a confidential and no obligation discussion on: 0845 643 9997.