In July 2016 I found out that my client (who lives in Indonesia) had sold a UK buy to let property in October 2015. I immediately sent in a NRCGT return online. He now has a penalty notice for £1,300 for not sending in the return within 30 days of the conveyance. The gain returned is £204. The fine seems to me to be disproportionate and unjust because he, not unreasonably, expected to return the details of the gain on his 2016 tax return in the normal way. With hindsight I can see that I should have flagged this up just because he is a non resident landlord in case he happened to want to sell a property. I am looking for reasonable excuses to appeal this and pointed out that knowing he is non resident his solicitor should have warned him about the 30 days. The solicitor is well respected locally and has replied candidly that he knew nothing about the 30 day time limit and to be fair neither did I at the start of the 2015-16 tax year. I know that not knowing the rules is no excuse but this seems so unfair. If professionals don’t know about new online reporting rules how can the tax payer in Indonesia (where communications are not the best) be expected to know? Is there any way to challenge this and is anyone else in the same boat?
In reply to Anonymous:
The information in the above post was posted by my wife on Taxationweb.co.uk and was from HMRC in response to questions asked under the freedom of information act. We have more questions. Why are some fines being cancelled and others not when the circumstances are the same?
We have been in communication with our MP throughout this and he is very interested. On our behalf he wrote to Jon Thompson ( HMRC CEO ) who responded with party line guff! He stated that in June 2015 Twitter announcements were made once a week for 4 weeks to alert people to this change. We have asked 'how many people who would be liable for this tax, follow HMRC on twitter? As yet no response.
We are given 30 days from the date of the letter to reply. We have repeatedly pointed out that mail is taking 26 days to reach us.
I have run my situation past a UK ( LLB ) qualified prosecution lawyer working here in NZ. Part of his job is dealing with tax fraud here in NZ. He asks, what is the purpose of the fines as none of our actions can be deemed to be repetitive behaviour, premeditated or that we did anything to avoid paying tax? ( reasons to apply fines ). He is astounded at the decision to charge these penalties in the first place and summed up the situation as ''ridiculous '' and HMRC were being unreasonable. An embarrassment to the UK.
The reply to my appeal stated that details of the new requirements were in 'Agent Update 51' and I or my agent should have been aware of this. She did not date the document and I wonder if she is aware that this document was published on 15 Nov 2015, 4 months after the completion of my sale.
I have no intention of paying as to do so could be seen as an admission of guilt. I have done nothing wrong.
Keep the pressure on them. Write to your MP. Maybe we should consider a class action.
Sorry for the anonymous, I jumped in without registering. My name is Bob and my wife is on taxationweb.co.uk
It is recognised that, within an organisation, it is unlikely that once a decision is made that the decision will be overturned by a colleague, and even less likely if the organisations culture is to treat those outside the organisation as a potential enemy. This usually happens in badly managed businesses with a low staff morale.
In reply to Fozia Muddassir:
HM Courts & Tribunals Service provide guidance (leaflets T242, T243 and T244 – use the link to court and tribunal forms) on what happens after you make your appeal and on what happens at a hearing. We recommend that you read this in addition to our guidance below.
At the level of the First-tier Tribunal, there are different ways in which your case can be handled depending on the facts, such as what it is you are appealing about and how complex your case is.
Some cases are usually dealt with on paper. This means that the tribunal will just review papers submitted by HMRC and by you, and make their decision from those.
If your case is to be dealt with in this way, it is important that your papers are neat and tidy so that the tribunal can follow them. Read the section ‘How do I prepare my case?’, which guides you through organising your papers. If you are told your case will be dealt with on paper, but you would prefer to have a hearing, you can request one.
If you have any special needs, which they might need to cater for at the hearing, for example, if you have a disability, you should tell the tribunal in advance.