In William Tinkler v HMRC [2018] UKUT 0073 the Upper Tribunal (UT) decided that a copy of notice of an enquiry under section 9A TMA 1970 sent to a tax agent was validly served on a taxpayer.

  • The taxpayer had moved. HMRC sent notice of enquiry into tax return under s9A TMA 1970 to his last known address but this was the wrong address.
  • A copy of the notice was sent to Mr Tinkler's tax agent.
  • The agent had acknowledged the notice and replied to HMRC.
  • HMRC issued a Closure Notice.
  • The Closure Notice was appealed on the basis that the orginal tax enquiry had not been validly opened.
  • The taxpayer claimed that the agent authority form 64-8 does not cover notifications of tax enquiries.

The question was whether HMRC had validly opened an enquiry into a tax return? If so then the closure notice was invalid.

If not, then was the taxpayer estopped from denying that the enquiry had been validly opened by the conduct of his agent?

HMRC claimed that the notice was validly served.

The UT decided that a notice was validly served on the taxpayer via his agent. Form 64-8 allows tax agents to receive notices from HMRC and therefore HMRC can serve notices via an agent.

 On the estoppel point the UT disagreed with the earlier findings of FTT and found that estoppel cannot amend or disapply the provisions of section 9A by agreement.


Grounds for Appeal

Closure Notices


William Tinkler v HMRC [2018] UKUT 0073 (TCC)

William Henry Tinker [2016] FTT TC4960



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