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Birchgrove v HMRC

In Birchgrove v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 497 (13 July 2016) the FTT found that a mistake in a return which had caused a processing delay did not constitute a reasonable excuse.

Following a lease transaction Birchgrove had submitted a land transaction return (LTR) and paid the SDLT due on 22 June 2015. However the LTR had only reached HMRC on 11 August 2015 39 days late because it had contained a reference to a different client and a different transaction. HMRC imposed a penalty; and Birchgrove only found out about its error after submitting its appeal and as a result of a disclosure by HMRC. The issue was whether the unintentional error amounted to a reasonable excuse.

The FTT accepted that the agent had made all reasonable efforts to find out why the form had not been received. However inaccurate information caused processing issues...

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