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S A Jagger v HMRC

In S A Jagger v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 623 (17 October 2018) the FTT found that no fixed rate penalties for late filing can be imposed when the tax liability is nil.

The taxpayer a self-employed taxi driver had submitted his returns late for several consecutive tax years and penalties had been imposed. HMRC had since removed some of the penalties so that the appeal only concerned 2010/11 and 2012/13. It was not disputed that the taxpayer had received the relevant notices to file.

The FTT first observed that the fact that the penalties may cause the taxpayer ‘extreme difficulty and financial strain’ was irrelevant. The tribunal observed (referring to Hok [2012] UKUT 363): ‘the level of the fines is laid down in legislation and the tribunal has no power to amend them unless they are incorrectly imposed or they are inaccurately calculated.’

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