In Raymond Hart v HMRC [2018] TC06446 the FTT found that ignorance of the law was not a reasonable excuse for the late filing of a NRCGT return but held that reliance on a tax adviser (who themselves were ignorant of the law) was a reasonable excuse. 

  • Mr Hart lived in Australia and sold a flat in the UK which had previously been his private residence: no capital gains tax (CGT) was due on the disposal.
  • Mr Hart had told his UK tax advisers that he was selling the property, and had asked about using property losses to offset any capital gain; he was not advised that a Non resident CGT return (NRCGT) was required.
  • A return was filed, late and HMRC assessed a Late Filing Penalty under Schedule 55 FA2009.
  • The taxpayer appealed: he claimed that he was unaware of the law.

Judge Guy Brannan, found that ignorance of the CGT rules was no excuse however Mr Hart had a reasonable excuse for late filing: he had specifically informed his tax advisers that he was selling the property and they had failed to advise him of the need to file the NRCGT return.


An early case on the topic of NRCGT: reliance on an adviser is deemed to be reasonable if you have engaged your adviser to advise you about tax and they fail. It is normally only possible to rely on an adviser if the tax is complicated. The issue in these cases is that there seems to be variable knowledge across the adviser community on these changes.

See comments in Non-resident CGT: UK residential property and Tax appeals: Reliance on an Adviser.


Non-resident CGT: UK residential property

How to appeal a tax penalty

Grounds for appeal: Reasonable excuse

Grounds for appeal: Adviser error

External :

Raymond Hart v HMRC [2018] TC06446



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