A vet has won an appeal against a tax penalty after a tribunal ruled that a sudden deterioration in his accountant's health was a reasonable excuse for being late submitting his PAYE return.
In the case Peter Collins and HM Revenue and Customs, TC03606, Collins appealed against two penalties totaling £600 for a 2011 PAYE return.
Collins's accountant and friend, Mr G. Marley, had suffered poor health from 2004 and his health sharply deteriorated in the period before the PAYE return was due. Marley died a few years later.
The tribunal received a copy of a medical report from Marley's doctor which, confirmed that in May 2011 Marley had been admitted to hospital, required a blood transfusion and heart treatment and later developed renal impairment.
Marley's doctor said he became confused and he was advised that he was not fit to be working. In the meantime, Collins's return for the tax year end April 2011 was not filed.
Collins argued that it was reasonable for him to rely on his accountant, citing a previous similar tribunal case in 2013 (Maxwell v HMRC), and another one also involving Marley's practice.
HMRC told the tribunal that it is the employer's statutory responsibility to ensure that a PAYE return is submitted. It said Collins was aware of Marley's but suggested that their friendship meant Collins carried on using Marley as his...