In Trent Personnel Ltd v HMRC [2018] TC06319 FTT overturned penalties charged for a late form P11D(b) return. The judge deduced that penalties were appealable and made via a s100 TMA determination. HMRC failed to provide any evidence that the penalty was made by a human.

  • Form P11D(b) was filed late for 2015/16, and penalties of £1,200 determined by HMRC.
  • The taxpayer appealed and the case was heard 'on the papers'.
  • HMRC submitted a specimen redacted copy of a determination made in a different year, it was unsuccessfully redacted and showed it was for a different taxpayer.

Judge Thomas deduced from the various Social Security regulations that there was a right of appeal against the late filing penalties. It followed that the late filing penalty was made via a s100 TMA determination.

  • The judge concluded on the basis of the evidence before him (the specimen determination) and following his decision in Khan Properties, that the penalty was made by a computer and not 'an officer of the board'.
  • The appeal was allowed.


The devil is in the detail, this time in HMRC's evidence.

Appeals against late P11D(b)s are a rarity hence the apparent difficulty in working out where the right of appeal etc lay.

How to appeal a tax penalty

Grounds for appeal: HMRC error or flaw

Trent Personnel Ltd v HMRC [2018] TC06319