Late appeals and evidence – Tribunal case
The Tribunal recently considered an appeal against assessments made by HMRC in light of the appellant’s failure to provide appropriate information to HMRC.
In this case, which makes interesting reading, the appellant operated a Tearoom in Falkirk, Scotland. It appears to have been an unmitigated failure. Initially, the appellant appointed her sister as manageress and visited the premises only at the weekend. Her sister, it transpires, was an alcoholic and unable to manage the tearoom. Further, adequate records were not kept. Subsequently, a new manageress was hired but questions as to her honesty were raised. The appellant also had a tax adviser whose actions were described as bizarre!
The Tribunal judge acknowledged that HMRC had “acted with courtesy and patience in the face persistent difficulties” in dealing with this case. The tax adviser’s closing submissions for the appellant did not advance any specific arguments which could justify allowing the appeals.
Case law makes it clear that it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to satisfy HMRC that assessments are incorrect. In this case no evidence was presented to support the appellant’s contention that wages had been overstated and income from property letting understated in the tax years assessed. As a result the appeal was dismissed as were the tax adviser’s assertions that his Human Rights were being ignored.
It seems that after judgment was given the appellant announced that she had the requested documents including bank statements but had been advised not to produce them by her tax adviser. The judge’s response was a guarded suggestion, if this were true, that the appelant may wish to review the advice and actions of her adviser.