Two more tax tribunal cases against penalties have gone in favour of the taxpayer this week.
In Eastman (TC5276) HMRC had refused to suspend a penalty in apparently one off event. Suspending a penalty requires the taxpayer to put in place processes that would prevent the error reoccurring, which HMRC said was not possible for a one off event. The tribunal said the penalty should be suspended (not payable as long as conditions complied with) as long as the tax payer put in place processes to check for any errors in future.
In McNamara Joinery (TC5278) HMRC refused to accept a taxpayer had reasonable excuse for late payment of VAT and imposed a penalty. The taxpayer and their agent had called HMRC to make a time to pay arrangement but had failed to get through as the lines were busy. The tribunal said HMRC should have had arrangements in place to deal with a high volume of calls in busy periods. No penalty was then payable.
If you have any penalty from HMRC it is often worth appealing. We see many cases reported in the tax press where taxpayers win appeals against penalties.