Capital Gains Trouble

My client, a retired pensioner, sold a plot of land for in excess of £1,000,000 and had a large Capital Gains Tax bill to pay. The tax return declaring the gain was due to be filed by 31st January but in the previous October my client suffered a stroke. He was unable to deal with his tax affairs as he could not write or speak properly following the stroke. To make matters worse his Accountant fell ill in mid-January and was unable to file the tax return. The client was charged a surcharge (penalty) for late payment/filing of the return – over £20,000.

The Accountant appealed against the penalty/surcharge but the appeal was refused. I was asked to intervene. I made a further detailed appeal on the clients’ behalf and claimed “reasonable excuse” for late payment and filing. I insisted the Taxman retrieve recorded phone conversations between my client and their “Help Line.” I demonstrated that my client did have a reasonable excuse although the appeal went all the way to a pre-tribunal review – most people are put off before this stage! Needless to say my client was delighted.

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