Market leading insight for tax experts
View online issue

Victor Tee v HMRC

printer Mail

In Victor Tee v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 977 – 21 October 2014, the FTT found that an information notice was too widely drafted.

Mr Tee had been interviewed by police under caution and had admitted to earning £80,000 yearly and to not having paid any tax or NIC. He was subsequently sentenced to prison for benefits and mortgage fraud.

HMRC then issued an information notice under FA 2008 sch 36, demanding full details of Mr Tee’s income as a financial adviser from the date he had commenced to 31 December 2009. Mr Tee did not comply and a penalty was imposed. He appealed.

At the hearing, HMRC confirmed that its only source of information was the police interview. Mr Tee explained that he had been unable to comply with the notice, as all the relevant documents were still with the police. He therefore claimed reasonable excuse.

The FTT found that the information notice was vague and uncertain, so that Mr Tee had a reasonable excuse whether or not his claim was verified.

Read the decision

Why it matters: This case is a reminder that taxpayers should challenge the validity of information notices which are so widely drafted that they are nothing more than ‘fishing expeditions’.