In Angela Salazar v HMRC [2019] TC7398, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed an appeal against employment intermediary return late filing penalties. They were raised against the wrong person and the taxpayer had a reasonable excuse.

Ms. Salazar’s business, Spanish and Coffee Limited, operated a café where customers could come to be taught Spanish by her and other workers. She was the sole director.

In their statement of case, HMRC were divided about who should pay the penalty; Ms. Salazar, or her company. The only evidence was a HMRC computer printout from the records for the company.

For completeness only, the FTT considered two other issues which it took some time to carefully review:

The tribunal found:

The case was determined on its papers, that is there was no hearing under prior agreement with the parties. The paper evidence, such as it was, did not go in HMRC’s favour.


Appeals: grounds for appeal toolkit 
What grounds are there to appeal a tax penalty? How can you word a tax appeal? Can you appeal HMRC errors? What is a reasonable excuse?

Links to our subscriber guides

Agency Workers: employment intermediaries rules
Agency workers are subject to PAYE and NICs on their earnings and employment intermediaries have specific reporting instructions from April 2015.

Grounds for appeal: taxpayer reasonable excuse 
What is considered to be a 'reasonable excuse' when a taxpayer makes an appeal?

Grounds for Appeal: HMRC error or flaw
When can an error, mistake or procedural flaw made by HMRC provide a valid ground for making an appeal?

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Angela Salazar v HMRC [2019] TC7398