Penalty success on a technicality

A taxpayer (Mr H Ashenford) appealed against a fixed penalty charged in respect of his failure to make his annual employer return.

The penalty, which was dated 3 October 2008, was shown as issued by Tax Inspector Mr C, but it transpired that he had retired from HMRC on 31 August 2008, and the notice did not show the new issuing officer’s name.

HMRC said that there were so many penalties issued that no officer actually sees the forms.

The tribunal concluded that Mr C was not an HMRC officer when the penalty was issued. As no other officer had determined the penalty, it had been improperly issued.
The taxpayer’s appeal was allowed.

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