Testa case: To suspend, or not suspend?

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The recent Testa tribunal decision provides a useful argument to secure a penalty suspension. John Flood explains why accountants should be thanking Mr Testa.

Penalties for careless conduct may be suspended, as per FA 2007 Sch.24 para.14. The law, however, provides that HMRC may suspend all or part of a penalty only if compliance with a condition of suspension would help to avoid a person becoming liable to further such penalties.

HMRC interpreted this as meaning that penalties for “one off” inaccuracies cannot be suspended and have secured success in the tribunal with recent reasonable care cases as Fane v HMRC [2011] UKFTT 210 and Hearn v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 782.  Testa v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 151 bucks this trend .

In b...

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About John Flood

About John Flood

John Flood is a retired barrister and ex-employee of HMRC. He is a co-author with George Rowell (Exchange Chambers, Manchester) of the new book, Tax Penalties: A Practitioners Guide (Sweet & Maxwell Thomson Reuters).


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By B Adder
04th Mar 2013 19:07

Accountants rejoicing maybe
But what about ATT tax advisers - ouch !

Thanks (0)
to mrme89
04th Mar 2013 20:54


B Adder wrote:
But what about ATT tax advisers - ouch !

But I'd accept the opinion of my ATT qualified junior before a hundred HMRC staff.

Thanks (2)
05th Mar 2013 09:46

Here we go

what is a "suitably qualified professional advisor". If you're ATT and even ATII you're certainly qualified and an advisor.

I'm not convinced that the tribunal did us any favours.

Thanks (2)