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HMRC lost original paperwork

A new client of mine had his self assessment affairs investigated. Subsequently he has been asked to provide documentary evidence. HMRC have lost the paperwork he sent them which, unfortunately, was the original documentary evidence. He is now being harassed to pay a large sum of money for which no calculations have been provided as the officer investigating has since left HMRC and has left no records or his work has also been lost.

I believe my client to have submitted accurate returns and am concerned that his is being unfairly charged. HMRC are being extremely stubborn believe it or not.

Does anybody know of a way to resolve this?

Thanks

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25th Sep 2011 12:06

On the assumption that.........

You have some kind of evidence that HMRC did actually receive the paperwork, then it seems to me that you are in a good  position.

You don't explain what the documentary evidence  actually was for, but if this evidence is being refuted by HMRC because they have lost it, then I would take the route of applying for a closure notice.

If nothing else, this will ensure that a higher grade officer looks at this case and with any luck, they will realise what a fool they will look if this case is ever heard before the Tribunal.

Your plan of action would be to put your client on oath at the Tribunal and for him to present oral evidence of the documentary evidence that HMRC have lost. If this is reasonable, I cannot see the Tribunal taking any other course but to believe your client.

It would be nice to have a few more details about this case though.

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Go for the throat

File a formal complaint that they have "lost" your cients property (paperwork) and inform them that you will be seeking compensation for all distress, time etc wasted as a result of their gross incompetence.

Also point out to them that Article 6 HRA clearly states that your client is innocent until PROVEN guilty. As they have apparently "lost" (or deliberately destroyed) your client's evidence of his innocence, you will of course approach the court regarding HMTRC's blatant attempt to pervert the course of justice by interfering with and/or concealing defence evidence.

 

 

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By CEL
26th Sep 2011 11:04

Copies

Does your client not have copies of the paperwork supplied.  Does anyone send original documents to anyone (not just HMRC) without taking copies and also having a letter / note of exactly what was supplied and when.

If you have copies, surely you can easily prove his submissions or otherwise. 

Do you really trust the new client on this? I am no defender of HMRC but it all seems a bit suspicious.

 

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26th Sep 2011 11:22

Yes indeed

CEL wrote:

Does your client not have copies of the paperwork supplied.  Does anyone send original documents to anyone (not just HMRC) without taking copies and also having a letter / note of exactly what was supplied and when.

If you have copies, surely you can easily prove his submissions or otherwise. 

Do you really trust the new client on this? I am no defender of HMRC but it all seems a bit suspicious.

I have to agree with this.  Putting documentation in the post to HMRC without retaining copies is pretty careless.  If the quantity of documents was such that it could not be properly copied, then they should have asked HMRC to visit the client premises to review the paperwork.

That said, now it's done you may as well play on the fact that HMRC have lost the paperwork..... after all, it's a pretty good excuse.

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-

Just to balance things here - we hand dlivered 5 lever arch files to HMRC a few years ago, got a receipt, and they lost them ................................

 

How the hell do you lose 5 lever arch files?

 

Because we had a receipt they didnt have a leg to stand on - which is probably why they refuse to give receipts nowdays.

 

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26th Sep 2011 11:47

Another reason

not to let HMRC have any documentation. Just make it available to them and make sure they don't eat it!!

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