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In Adrian Omar v HMRC [2018] TC6962, the first tier tribunal (FTT) held that a taxpayer had not been careless in claiming excessive tax relief for pension contributions.

HMRC raised Discovery Assessments

As these were raised more than four years later HMRC had to show that the taxpayer had been careless in order to extend the Discovery Time Limit to six years.

HMRC also imposed penalties which it later agreed to suspend.

The taxpayer appealed to the FTT.

The tribunal noted the lack of documentary evidence and sketchy recollections of the taxpayer.

It dismissed the three arguments for carelessness that HMRC had “gallantly made”:

The FTT concluded that the taxpayer has not been careless: the discovery conditions were not met and therefore HMRC's assessments were invalid

Our guides

How to appeal a tax penalty
Essential reading in cases were there are penalties too

Discovery assessment and time limits
How far HMRC can go back, what conditions must be met for a valid discovery.

How to avoid penalties for carelessness

Pensions Autoenrolment

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Adrian Omar v HMRC [2018] TC6962