This month’s update is dominated by decisions on penalty appeals, where the tribunal has had some sympathy for the taxpayer.
In Stokes, an accountant’s dying father was deemed a ‘special circumstance’ for the late filing of his client’s return. In Gatward, it was held that unclear instructions from HMRC caused the delay in filing her return. In Glasby v HMRC, the taxpayer’s penalty for not taking the appropriate corrective action under follower notices by the required deadline was reduced to 20%, in light of the advice he had received and his medical condition. There has been a growing number of cases concerning penalties for failure to notify HMRC of the high income child benefit charge. In O’Connor, the taxpayer’s ten-year absence from the UK made it objectively reasonable that he would not have known about the high-income child benefit charge, so his appeal against penalties for failure to notify was allowed. In contrast, in Bond, the taxpayer did not know his partner had claimed child benefit, but HMRC’s assessment of penalties was upheld.
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