In S Bolland v HMRC  TC6490 the First Tier Tribunal allowed a late appeal against Schedule 36 Information notice penalties but not to tax determinations, the penalties were sent to the wrong address.
Under s31A TMA 1970 the time limit for appealing:
- Discovery assessments under s29 TMA 1970
- Penalty notices for failure to notify, late payment of tax and failure to comply with a Schedule 36 FA 2008 information notice
is 30 days from the date of the assessment or penalty notice.
- Late appeals are allowed where the taxpayer has a reasonable excuse, HMRC and the tribunal both have discretion to allow late appeals.
- S7 Interpretation Act 1978 provides that, unless the contrary shown, a document which is shown to have been posted properly pre-stamped and addressed is deemed to have been served at the time it would have arrived in the ordinary course of the post.
HMRC issued assessments and penalty notices for 2008/9 to 2013/14 totalling £33,659. Schedule 36 Information notices were also sent to Mr Bolland’s mothers address.
- Mr Bolland appealed the assessments and penalties; the appeals ranged between two and eleven months late.
- He claimed that he had verbally told HMRC, before the date of the Schedule 36 notices, that he had not received certain correspondence because it had been sent to his mother’s address but had not formally notified his change of address.
- HMRC refused to accept the appeals.
- Mr Bolland applied to the FTT for permission to appeal out of time under s49.
The FTT found no reason to accept the late appeals against the assessments: they appeared to be validly posted and no valid excuse was provided by the taxpayer for the delay in making the appeals. The possible injustice which may have occurred by denying his appeal did not outweigh the lack of any good explanation for the delay in making the appeals and the interest of complying with time limits.
The FTT allowed the appeal against the £300 penalty appeal in respect of the Schedule 36 notices: the notices had been sent to the wrong address and the taxpayer did not see them in time.
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