The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) refused to allow an appeal with a 30-day time limit that was in fact made after some 10 months (Green v HMRC  UKFTT 405 (TC)).
The FTT did not accept, on the evidence, that there was any good reason why the appeals were made late. Mrs Green herself was going through a difficult period for particular personal reasons, but that did not apply to her accountant.
The FTT noted that “it is well established that ‘when considering applications for permission to make a late appeal, failures by a litigant’s adviser should generally be treated as failures by the litigant (see the Upper Tribunal’s decision in HMRC v Katib  STC 2106 (‘Katib’) at )”.
The FTT was bound by that decision “and, as a result, we are driven to find that the fact that Mrs Green was let down by [her accountants] does not constitute a good reason for the failure to appeal.
The FTT was “unable to form a view on the strength or weakness of Mrs Green’s appeals without hearing and evaluating the evidence and arguments which would be inappropriate in an application for permission to make a late appeal”.
Against the prejudice to Mrs Green, the FTT had to “balance the prejudice to HMRC and the public interest if the appeals are allowed to proceed after such a long period of delay and the need for statutory time limits to be respected”.
The tribunal’s conclusion was that “Mrs Green has not given a sufficiently good reason for a serious and significant delay in appealing against the assessments and, in all the circumstances, it is not appropriate to give permission for Mrs Green to make late appeals in this case”.
The appeal was therefore refused.
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In Tax Appeals – Law and Practice at the FTT, tax barrister Keith Gordon analyses some 500 precedents to show how the FTT rules are applied in practice, and how taxpayers may use the tribunal system for appealing against tax decisions.