Wilson v Revenue & Customs Commissioners - Justice? I am not sure…
A recent case (Wilson v Revenue & Customs Commissioners SpC 724) caught my eye purely because it triggered an instinctive response of “but that’s not fair!”
The taxpayer submitted his 2004/05 self assessment tax return including a claim for a capital loss of £2m. HMRC entered the figures manually on the computer and then lost the return. The taxpayer failed to produce a copy of the return when HMRC asked for this and HMRC issued a notice requiring him to deliver a copy, followed by a summons for a penalty for failure to comply with the notice, and requested the maximum penalty of £300.
The Special Commissioner determined the penalty on the basis that the return contained information relevant to the taxpayer’s tax liability and the default had continued for a year. The maximum penalty was very small compared with the amount of the loss. The fact that HMRC received the original return did not prevent it from requiring a copy!
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Cathy Corns is a Corporate Tax partner at Mercer & Hole.
Date: 7th May, 2009
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