Tribunal case – National Insurance Contributions
The First-tier Tribunal recently examined the entitlement of a retired taxpayer to the State Pension. The taxpayer, a Mr James Plant, claimed that he had worked since leaving school at 15 in 1962 until he emigrated to Australia in 1990. Mr Plant was clear that with the exception of a year of ill health and periods of unemployment he had worked continuously throughout the period.
Mr Plant received a list of all his contributions on his National Insurance record from the Department of Work and Pensions and found that some NIC payments had been omitted. The file was passed to HMRC for further investigation. Mr Plant provided further information to HMRC regarding his working history, but due to the passage of time was unable to produce any documentary evidence of his employment such as payslips.
HMRC and Mr Plant were unable to resolve their differences and Mr Plant requested a review of HMRC’s decision. Interestingly, this resulted in HMRC tracing a further 13 Class 1 NIC payments that had not been previously recorded. There were however further periods where no evidence could be found.
The Tribunal was clearly sympathetic with the taxpayer’s situation and considered whether when‘relying on the unreliability of HMRC’s records, it could be inferred that contributions had been made in respect of all of missing periods.’
However, whilst accepting that such an approach had some merit, the Tribunal Judge said that in the absence of evidence of additional NIC payments having been made, that he was left with no alternative but to dismiss the appeal.
This case serves an important reminder of the importance of retaining evidence of making NIC’s even after the passage of many decades.