Book Launch and Seminar – Tax Penalties: A Practitioner’s Guide








Exchange Chambers, 201 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3NW

We are delighted to have been joined by tax specialist George Rowell.

George’s arrival marks the launch of a comprehensive guide to the system of tax penalties now in force in the United Kingdom. The book covers the new penalty regime introduced since 2007, the surviving elements of the previous penalty regime, the special regimes applicable to Scotland and Wales, the means available to challenge penalties and special topics such as criminal liability, EU law and the ECHR.

At this free seminar, the authors will speak on two topics that are commonly encountered by practitioners:

  • the legal tests of ‘reasonable care’ and ‘reasonable excuse’;
  • the penalty regime applicable to tax agents.

Copies of the book will be available for sale at a discounted rate from Sweet and Maxwell who will be in attendance on the day.

George Rowell
Reasonable Care and Reasonable Excuse: Key Concepts and Cases

The new penalty regime may be draconian, but in most cases liability is not automatic. If HMRC want to impose a penalty for an inaccurate tax return, they most show that the tax-payer failed to take reasonable care (or that the inaccuracy was deliberate). For most other kinds of penalty the tax-payer has a complete defence if he shows that he had a reasonable excuse for the default. This talk will put these tests into their statutory context and then explain how the tribunal has applied them to the kinds of  excuse most commonly encountered:

  • reliance on a professional adviser
  • areas of legal doubt
  • failed tax planning
  • reliance on HMRC
  • insufficiency of funds
  • illness or bereavement
  • communication difficulties

John Flood
Tax Agents and the Penalty Regime

Besides the risk of criminal liability, tax agents may face civil challenges from HMRC in relation to alleged misconduct. This talk explains the penalty regime introduced in relation to agents and the possible publicity consequences that can follow the imposition of a penalty. It analyses the elements which must be shown by HMRC before sanctions can be imposed, and it provides guidance to assist agents to avoid accidentally finding themselves in difficulty in this area. Topics to be discussed therefor include:-

  • What is a Tax Agent?
  • When can a penalty arise?
  • Meaning of ‘dishonesty’
  • Calculation of a penalty
  • Appeals
  • Publicity
  • Right to documents
  • Criminal offences

The seminar will be followed by drinks and nibbles.

To reserve a place, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email Jo Stapley.