The Upper Tribunal has dismissed an appeal by Exclusive Promotions Ltd (EPL) against the First-tier Tribunal’s judgment that penalties arising from failures to pay on time income tax and National Insurance contributions arising as a result of accelerated payment notices (APNs) had been validly made (Exclusive Promotions Ltd v HMRC  UKUT 269 (TCC)).
The two principal issues were:
- Was there a determination for the purposes of s. 222?
- Did EPL have a reasonable excuse for the late payment of the APNs?
The Upper Tribunal concluded in respect of the the issue of the determination that:
“In the present case, HMRC’s 22 February 2017 letter responded to EPL’s representations expressed as being made pursuant to s. 222(2)(a) and (b), regarding Conditions A, B and C in s. 219, and the amounts specified in the APNs. The letter concluded with a clear confirmation of the APNs and their amounts. There is no dispute that the letter met the formal requirements of s. 222(4). The letter was therefore a determination within the meaning of s. 222(4), which triggered the 30-day period under s. 55(8D) TMA. Unless and until the determination is successfully challenged in a court of competent jurisdiction, it is presumed to be valid: Beadle §4.“
And with regards to the question of “reasonable excuse”:
“In conclusion on this issue, we are satisfied that the FTT correctly interpreted the statutory phrases “reasonable excuse” and “without unreasonable delay” and applied them appropriately to the facts which they found. In the absence of any error of law, the FTT’s decision that EPL did not have a reasonable excuse for its failure to pay the APNs by their due dates must stand.”
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