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British judge exempts MD due to being prone to ‘forgetfulness’


A judge in the United Kingdom has granted exemption to a 77 year old managing director has in court over his late VAT payment ruling due to the fact of the man “being elderly and prone to forgetfulness”. John Selway’s reasoning was deemed by the judge to be “reasonable” after he had admitted to his mistake and after realising his error immediately paid the outstanding amount.

HMRC issued a default surcharge of £1,127.24 to Selway after he failed to make a VAT payment for a three month period ending on August 31st 2013, to pay by October 7th 2013.  Mr. Selman’s confusion over the quarter end resulted in his late payment on October 10th 2013.

Speaking about his decision to exempt Mr. Selway the Judge, Dr K Khan said “A mistake of fact can give rise to a reasonable excuse. In this case and based on the facts presented, there was a genuine error by the taxpayer. Given his age and failing memory and the limitations which that brings, the Tribunal finds that there is a reasonable excuse and the appeal should be allowed. The Appellant has taken steps to ensure that this type of mistake does not occur in the future.”


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