Bartram case scuppers determination appeals
HMRC estimates of tax owed by someone who hasn’t filed a return has the same force as a self-assessment tax return and can’t be appealed until a return is filed, the upper tier tribunal ruled.
The case of Michael Bartram v HMRC (UKUT 184, TCC) concerned a taxpayer who had failed to file income tax returns for three consecutive years, prompting HMRC to issue determinations of his tax liability for those years.
Bartram appealed against the determinations to the first-tier tribunal. In July last year, a tribunal struck out the appeal on the grounds that no appeal could be made against an HMRC determination under section 28c of the Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA).
Anne Fairpo said in her tax podcast this week (16 July) that the judge’s decision was not wholly surprising. A victory for the taxpayer may have given them an advantage over HMRC, so it was “probably a pragmatic response from the tribunal”, she said.