National Insurance contributions case
The First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) recently considered a case which examined National Insurance contributions from as far back as 1971. In this case the appellant, Mrs Powell, appealed against a decision by HMRC that she had made an election that allowed her to make National Insurance contributions at a reduced (nil) rate.
Mrs Powell argued that she had made the married woman’s election in 1974. Whilst the issue examined by the FTT strictly related to a challenge to HMRC to prove when an election had been made in reality the appellant was concerned that she had made insufficient contributions to qualify for a full state pension.
HMRC furnished the FTT with quite detailed information regarding the appellants working history which showed her past National Insurance contributions. The FTT carefully examined both Mrs Powell’s recollection of events as well as evidence held by HMRC.
The FTT ultimately found that based on the evidence provided it was clear that the married woman’s election was made on 13 April 1971 (and not in 1974). There was a secondary argument of whether this election was valid as Mrs Powell was under the age of 18 at that time. Again, the FTT found in favour of HMRC.
The FTT considered Mrs Powell to be an honest woman. However, recalling events from over 40 years ago is difficult and the FTT came to the conclusion that Mrs Powell’s recollection was imperfect. Mrs Powell’s appeal was dismissed.