Gardiner 2 HMRC nil: win on penalties

Actions have consequences: for HMRC as much as for taxpayers. It is nice to see the more egregious excesses of HMRC reined in by the courts from time to time.

Mr and Mrs Gardiner were sold a tax planning scheme. Following the hearing of a test case, they accepted that the scheme did not work and they paid the tax. That was not enough for HMRC. They alleged that Mr and Mrs Gardiner had been negligent in claiming the tax relief in question. However, as we reported at the time, HMRC failed to adduce any evidence of negligence before the Tribunal and the case was (inevitably) dismissed.

It was perhaps understandable that Mr and Mrs Gardiner were aggrieved that they had been put to the trouble and expense of defending themselves against allegations unsupported by evidence and they applied to the Tribunal for an award of costs against HMRC. It is now reported that their claim has been successful.

Good for them.

David Whiscombe


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