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I Argent v HMRC

In I Argent v HMRC (TC02680 – 9 May) an accountant registered for VAT in 1977 and deregistered in 1997 although he continued to practise. HMRC subsequently discovered that his turnover had exceeded the VAT threshold in the year ending 5 April 2004 and in each of the five subsequent years. They imposed a penalty under VATA 1994 s 67. The FTT upheld the penalty in principle but mitigated it by 20% to take account of the fact that the appellant was aged over 80.

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Why it matters: In most cases an accountant who had failed to register for VAT for six years in which his turnover had consistently exceeded the registration threshold could expect little sympathy from HMRC or the tribunal. However in this case Judge Gort mitigated the penalty by 20% to take account of the fact...

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