Former bank chief defeats taxman in ‘careless error’ tribunal

The former Chief Executive of Gatehouse Bank David Testa has successfully appealed in the first-tier tax tribunal against HM Revenue & Customs' "flawed" refusal to suspend a penalty imposed for a careless inaccuracy. HMRC rejected David Testa's offer of using a qualified tax practitioner to ensure he ironed out future self-assessment errors after he mistakenly failed to declare his severance payment after he left his post with the bank in 2009. The tribunal upheld Testa's view, noting HMRC's policy "sits uneasily" regarding inaccuracies arising from one-off events. Judge Kevin Poole described HMRC's logic as "flawed" and added there is "a danger of taking too narrow a view of the legislation".

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