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Gray Publishing v HMRC

In Gray Publishing v HMRC (TC03253 – 23 January 2014) a penalty had been imposed upon the taxpayer for the late filing of the end of year P35 return.

Mrs Gray had believed that it was not necessary to file a P35 as the firm had no employees in the relevant tax year. She had contacted HMRC to obtain confirmation that no return was required but had not obtained a reply.

HMRC and the tribunal accepted that Mrs Gray had held a ‘genuine belief’ that no return was required. However HMRC argued that her belief was unreasonable.

The tribunal noted that an honest belief can be a reasonable excuse. However the more ‘unreasonable’ a belief is the more unlikely it is that the tribunal will accept that it was genuinely held. Disagreeing with Coales v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 477 the tribunal added that once...

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