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An interesting tax case reported this week, John Evans TC 446.

Mr Evans was a former Inland Revenue staff member, who was appointed a Clerk to the General Commissioners – in those days the GCs were the first level tax appeal tribunal, and the clerk was an independant administrator and advisor to the Commissioners. Normally the clerk was a solicitor, an appointment for a few hours a month along side practicing activities, but sometimes clerks came from Inland Revenue or the tax / accounting profession as was the case here.

Mr Evans claimed expenses for secretarial assistance – his wife – and travel.

Following a tax enquiry these were disallowed, and a penalty imposed.

On appeal, not only was the disallowance upheld but the penalty was increased due to Mr Evans lack of co-operation!

So lets get this right – an ex Inland Revenue staffer, is appointed to an independent tax tribunal, and then looses – twice – a spat with HMRC and gets a non co-operation penalty to go with it, the penalty being specifically confirmed, and increased, on appeal!

Pots, kettle and black come to mind!