< Go Back Another success in claim to Special Relief Posted: Sep 29, 2015
Hot on the heels of a recent reversal for HMRC another taxpayer who claimed "Special Relief" against a determined liability following his late submission of tax returns due to a serious illness.
In the case of James Ronaldson Scott v HMRC (TC04597); Mr Scott submitted late self-assessment returns for the years ending 5 April 2007 and 5 April 2008. During the delay, as
the returns were outstanding, HMRC issued determinations for both
years. The only way to
displace the determinations would have been to submit the
outstanding returns by 31 January 2011 and 2012 respectively. The returns were, however, eventually filed on 30
November 2012 and were well out of time in respect of the
statutory filing date and in terms of displacing the determinations.
The only remaining option was for Mr Scott to claim 'special relief'. In order to do so several conditions must be met of which one of the main ones is that it would be "unconscionable" for HMRC to seek to recover the tax (or withhold repayment if already
paid). The person�s tax affairs should also be up to date and he should not have made a previous claim for special relief.
Mr Scott explained that his returns had been filed late due to the prolonged illness and eventual death of his previous accountant. He
had been advised that everything was in hand in relation to his accounts
prior to the accountant�s unfortunate demise. Mr Scott also argued that HMRC's calculation of the tax he allegedly owed was excessive.
refused to accept Mr Scott's original claim for special relief because he had, sometime
previously, failed to submit his tax returns on time and had also been subject
to legal proceedings by HMRC in the past.
The tribunal ruled in favour of Mr Scott, citing some previous tribunal rulings including that of William
Maxwell v HMRC in 2013, in which the tribunal allowed a claim for
special relief where the appellant's previous accountant had become
unwell. This decision follows swiftly on from the case of a
Mr Clark that we commented upon earlier.
This case, and others, indicates that HMRC do need to consider all of the relevant factors when considering whether to
allow or concede to a claim to special relief; even if the taxpayer�s taxation and compliance history was
not necessarily perfect.