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In Daniel O'Doherty v HMRC [2021] TC08193, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) rejected the appeal of a sole director of a company who was issued with a Personal Liability Notice (PLN) for the VAT penalties raised by HMRC on his company. He was unable to provide any evidence to show the underlying assessments were wrong.

In his Appeal, the appellant did not argue that he should not be liable, that GS VI should not have been registered for VAT or that the penalty was too high. Instead, he argued that the assessment was too large and that the input VAT would have significantly reduced the liability.

Unfortunately, in his witness statements and accompanying documents, he produced very little evidence that GS VI had incurred much input VAT, whether through invoices or bank statements. Much of the evidence related to other companies, whose ownership and links to the appellant and/or the hotel were never explained.

Due to the lack of evidence needed to discharge the appellant's burden of disproving HMRC's figures the FTT dismissed the appeal. As it was only the level of the VAT assessment and the penalties imposed that was appealed, the PLN for the penalty still stands on this basis.

Useful guides on this topic

Registering for VAT
When should a business register for and charge VAT? What are the VAT registration limits and VAT rules after Brexit? What penalties might HMRC issue for late notification of registration?

Penalties (VAT)
When do penalties apply for VAT? What penalties are charged and how can they be mitigated?

Appeals: VAT 
The process of making a VAT appeal largely follows that of direct taxes, however, there are some differences. How do I appeal an HMRC decision?  How do I appeal a penalty?  How can I request a Statutory Review? 

External link

Daniel O'Doherty v HMRC [2021] TC08193


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