There have been two recent First-tier Tribunal decisions which give some encouragement to those who feel they have been assessed or penalised unjustly by HMRC. The case of Browne v HMRC related to the failure to deliver a land transaction return for the purposes of SDLT. This was a conveyancing matter and it was reasonable for Mrs Browne to rely on her solicitor to submit the SDLT return within the statutory time limit. The Tribunal considered that there was no reason for her to think that the solicitors would fail to do so. Their failure was not a fault of hers and she therefore had a reasonable excuse for the failure and no penalty arose.
This is welcome confirmation that it can in certain circumstances it can be a reasonable excuse to rely on a professional adviser.
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