A computer analyst recently won an appeal against penalties for late payment of tax due to depression.
Geoffrey Wedgwood who was diagnosed with long term depression and anxiety and earned about £120,000 pa, argued that the penalties which totaled £3,655 charged by HMRC showed that it did not understand his illness and was discriminating against him.
Wedgwood was asked by the tribunal judge as to why he had not appointed an accountant to sort his affairs but Wedgwood explained that it was difficult for him to admit to anyone that he was ill.
Although HMRC argued that a “prudent” self employed person, who knew he had a history of illness, would seek assistance from an agent or HMRC, but the tribunal said it was clear that the taxpayer’s affairs had become in arrears as a result of his illness. He eventually appointed an accountant and his affairs had been brought up to date.
The taxpayer’s appeal was allowed.