In Ernold Ltd v Revenue Scotland [2018] FTSTC insufficiency of funds was held not be a reasonable excuse for a failure to file a Scottish land and buildings transaction tax return. 

Land and Buildings Transactions Tax 'LBTT' is the Scottish equivalent to Stamp Duty Land Tax

Late filing and payment penaltes are assessed under the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Act 2014 (“RSTPA”)

  • The company appealed against a penalty of £1,527 for late payment of LBTT.  
  • It claimed it was late due to insufficient funds. It claimed that the penalty was unfair.
  • The company did not contest a late filing penalty of £100

The FTSTC found that:

  • The imposition of penalties is rationally connected to the policy objective in that it encourages compliance and the powers to mitigate allow a balance to be struck between the Exchequer and taxpayers.
  • It was held that insufficiency of funds is not reasonable excuse for this Scottish tax, just as it is not acceptable for an English tax.

Useful guides

Scottish Land and Buildings Transaction Tax

How to appeal a tax penalty

Reasonable excuse

External link

Ernold Ltd v Revenue Scotland [2018] FTSTC

Case report: 

Reasonable excuse: