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David Wake-Walker v HMRC

In David Wake-Walker v HMRC (TC03097 – 28 November 2013) the taxpayer claimed to have filed his tax return online well within the deadline but HMRC insisted that they had not received it and that therefore a penalty was due. Rather than deciding what had actually happened the tribunal pointed out that the taxpayer’s belief that the return had been filed could constitute a reasonable excuse.

The factual issue the tribunal had to establish was therefore whether the taxpayer had really believed that he had submitted his return. In doing so the tribunal gave some weight to the reasonableness of the taxpayer’s belief. ‘The more surprising outlandish or unreasonable the belief being asserted the less likely it is that as a matter of the necessary forensic exercise the Tribunal will accept that any such belief was honestly held.’

The tribunal went on...

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