In Derren Urwin v HMRC [2014] TC03145 the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed a taxpayer’s appeal against a surcharge of £429.78 for late payment of tax because:

The Tribunal also stated that the law covering due dates for payment of tax is complex and may not adequately cover the facts under consideration.

The Tribunal held that it was “impossible for him to pay on time” and, therefore, there was a “reasonable excuse” for the delay. Unusually, it also stated that, had this not been the case, there were “special circumstances” (paragraph 9, Schedule 56, FA 2009) allowing HMRC discretion to reduce the penalty, because “even if he was extraordinarily diligent and completed the return and sent it back by return he was already late”.


A victory for fairness and common sense. The FTT pointed out that the law on when payment of tax is due is sufficiently complex for HMRC to have provided DU with two different due dates…one of which was clearly wrong.

Links to our guides:

Appeal: grounds for appeal toolkit

Grounds for Appeal: Taxpayer reasonable excuse

External link:

Derren Urwin v HMRC [2014] TC03145