Signs of the Tribunal Taking a More Sympathetic Approach to 'Reasonable Excuse'

    June 2014

    Two recent tribunal cases indicate that the tribunals are adopting a sympathetic approach to taxpayers in these difficult times. Each involved a penalty charge for the late payment of tax and whether an insufficiency of funds could be a reasonable excuse. This is not a promising prospect. The penalty regime in FA 2009 includes the following phrase in all relevant places: ‘an insufficiency of funds is not a reasonable excuse unless attributable to events outside the person’s control’.

    Article first published in Tax Journal on 6 June 2014.