AccountingWeb recently summarised Louise Fernandez v HMRC (TCO1123), in which the taxpayer challenged two fines for filing her self-assessment tax returns 11 months late, on 3 December 2010.
Ms Fernandez experienced problems logging into HMRC's website to file her Self Assessment tax returns, seemingly she had been given the wrong activation codes.
Anyhoo, she then emailed HMRC (using the email address she had been given by them) to inform them of her difficulties accessing the site.
Unfortunately she didn't receive a reply.
She had emailed the VAT helpdesk, rather than the Self Assessment helpdesk.
Geraint Jones, presenting judgement, was unimpressed with HMRC's non response to Ms Fernandez's email. He noted wryly:
"It seems little point having a [Inland] Revenue helpline if it doesn't offer any help."
He accepted that Fernandez had a reasonable excuse for submitting her tax return late, but said that the second fine should stand, given that it took her another 11 months to file her return.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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