A contractor got a late filing penalty from HMRC because its monthly construction industry scheme return was received three days late.
The company said the return had been posted in time. Returns were normally posted by the company between the 11th and the 13th of each month, so as to reach HMRC by the 19th. The company had been subject to four previous penalty notices. Two had been cancelled because of Revenue error, and two were cancelled because the taxman accepted they had been posted in time.
The tribunal concluded the company was not a ‘serial late filer of returns’ but a ‘diligent taxpayer endeavouring to meet his obligations’, and that the return had been posted in good time. On the basis that the company followed its normal practice it was not a legal obligation for taxpayers to obtain proof of posting.
HMRC did not provide the date-stamped return or any other evidence of when it was received. Given that the posting date was established as 14 June, it was for HMRC to prove that the return had not been delivered in the normal course of post. The taxman did not do so.
Heronslea Ltd’s appeal was allowed.
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.