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C M McDonald v HMRC

In C M McDonald v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 265 (4 April 2017) the FTT found that the illness of the taxpayer’s parents (followed by their death) had constituted a reasonable excuse for the late filing of her return.

This was an appeal against penalties imposed for the late filing of individual returns. Ms McDonald had cared for her terminally ill parents during four years and she claimed that she had a reasonable excuse but HMRC rejected this.

It contended that serious illness could only be accepted if the situation meant that the taxpayer was incapacitated for the whole period from the filing date to the date the return was received. It observed that during the relevant time Ms McDonald had continued to carry out a profitable business.

The FTT considered it ‘understandable’ that during the time that she had cared for her two very ill parents and...

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