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When is a defective HMRC notice invalid?

Speed read
Although the taxpayer in Haworth had his follower notice quashed, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal found that a defective notice from HMRC was not invalid. Even if a notice ‘must’ contain information, if it doesn’t that won’t necessarily make it invalid. If it cannot be said that Parliament intended total invalidity to result from a defective notice, it will depend on the circumstances and whether the taxpayer is prejudiced. This is similar to the statutory saving provision in TMA 1970 s 114 for some types of defective assessments or notices. However, it is still worth checking all HMRC notices carefully.

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