This Content Was Last Updated on January 12, 2016 by Jessica Garbett


There is a move afoot for HMRC to abolish the practice of Equitable Liability.

Equitable Liability is a tax protection of last resort, normally used where someone has got into arrears with filing tax tax returns, had assessments and penalties levied on them, and by process of time those assessments and penalties have become final with no right of appeal.

When that person then seeks to bring themselves in from the cold they are often faced with tax debts which are considerably larger than the correct amounts due and are manifestly unfair.

Equitable Liability is a last resort protection to adjust eh unfair liabilities to the correct one. It is a protection for the most vulnerable tax payers, those who let paperwork get the better of them, maybe through money worries, maybe through brown envelope fear, maybe through ill health.

The intention to abolish the concept is mean spirited and lacks compassion.

There is a petition against the abolition on the No 10 petitions site:

We urge as many people as possible to sign it and, if possible, to write to your MP and ask them to take up the issue.