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The First Trier Tribunal allowed the taxpayer’s appeal against HMRC’s disallowance of certain travel (and related subsistence) expenses over a period of three years of assessment.
Complexity of law is not an excuse for it not to be applied.
Had they obtained expert advice in the first place, they could have avoided the time, money and the stress as a result of taking this matter to the Tribunal and then losing.determining that a penalty of about £32m paid by Mc Laren Racing Ltd for breaching sporting regulations was not wholly and exclusively laid out or expended for the purposes of Mc Laren’s trade and consequently was not an allowable deduction for tax.
Our analysis: This decision does not bring any surprises and reinforces the long standing understanding that penalties for breach of law are not tax deductible.
We are somewhat surprised that the First Tier Tribunal did not appreciate this point and the judgement had to be referred to the Upper Tribunal and HMRC finally won after two years.
The First Tier Tribunal has allowed in part the taxpayers’ appeals against late filing penalties, finding that when considering whether various life events amounted to a reasonable excuse for late filing it was correct to look at the events individually and also together as a whole. Breen's house which took longer than expected, Mrs. Breen's month being diagnosed with cancer and finally Dr.
Breen being handed additional responsibilities as a consultant by the NHS as his employer and demanded him to do an MBA course.
However, the FTT disallowed the appeals against late payment surcharges, finding that the taxpayers could and should have made payments on account.
The First Tier Tribunal has dismissed an appeal by Mr & Mrs Baldwin against an assessment to recover VAT, which was wrongly repaid after Mr and Mrs Baldwin had adjusted their October 2011 return to reclaim VAT that they thought had been wrongly accounted for on their supply of hotel accommodation to EU travel agents who were not established in the UK.
The issue was whether VAT was payable on bookings made by non-UK agents.
Mr & Mrs Baldwin had misunderstood the law and assumed that income generated from non-UK agents was not subject to VAT.
The correct treatment according to the law is that “supply of land-related services, such as hotel accommodation, is where the land itself is located, regardless of where you or your customers belong” and VAT is therefore chargeable regardless of how or who made the booking. Baldwin stated that the law on this matter was too complex and HMRC’s officers did not give them clear advice on this matter when they contacted them.