In Stanley John Chmiel v HMRC [2018] TC7112 a company director’s failure to register his company for VAT resulted in a £4,250 penalty via a Personal Liability Notice. HMRC’s powers sometimes allow it to ‘pierce the corporate veil’.

  • Mr Chmiel's building company traded above the VAT threshold between March 2011 and July 2012.
  • The company failed to register for VAT.
  • It ceased trading in 2016.
  • Following a VAT visit HMRC issued the director with a Personal Liability Notice (‘PLN’) for £4,250.05.

The penalty for Failure to Notify is based on Potential Lost Revenue. It was calculated on the basis of:

'telling' (30%), 'helping' (40%) and 'giving' (40%) giving a final penalty of 35% of the Potential Lost Revenue from 1 March 2012 to 31 July 2013 (£12,143) x 35% = £4,250.05.

The director appealed. He claimed that his accountants had not advised him to register.

The FTT found that the company kept meticulous records: the director was obviously aware of turnover levels. It found that the failure to notify was deliberate and not concealed.

The appeal was dismissed.

Useful guides

At a glance: VAT Penalties 
A summary of vast array of different penalties that may apply to VAT registered trader.

Penalties: Failure to Notify
A tax penalty applies when a person fails to notify HMRC that they are chargeable to tax.

External links

Stanley John Chmiel v HMRC [2018] TC7112