In Darren Billington v HMRC [2017] TC06147 the FTT dismissed a late application to lodge an appeal against penalties raised for failure to act on an information notice: there was excessive delay and an insufficient excuse for the underlying failure.

HMRC has the power to issue an Information Notice under sch 36 FA 2008 during the course of an enquiry. Penalties apply for failure to act on an information notice.

An appeal may be made late in certain circumstances, see How to appeal a tax penalty and Making a late appeal.

  • Mr Billington was subject to an income tax (IT) enquiry, and a VAT enquiry followed.
  • Information requested by HMRC for the VAT enquiry duplicated some of that which had been supplied during the IT enquiry.
  • The taxpayer felt he was being harassed and requested that one enquiry be settled before the next one commenced.
  • HMRC issued two Sch 36 information notices requiring bank statements as well as other statutory records.
  • Following a failure to provide information HMRC raised assessments for penalties.

Late appeals were made against £1,035 of penalties. The taxpayer moved premises and claimed not to have received notices.

The appeals were 688 and 713 days late.

The tribunal decided that the appeals did not provide grounds for appeal and in any event the taxpayer could have provided the missing information sooner. The appeal was dismissed.


Case management in messy cases can be difficult and if any paperwork goes missing it may take months to track it down. Late appeals are not uncommon on this basis. 

Links to Subscriber guides:

How to appeal a tax penalty

Making a late appeal

External links:

Darren Billington v HMRC [2017] TC06147



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