Builder to appeal HMRC ruling

Builder to appeal HMRC ruling

Judge rules taxman can’t be sued by individual

Neil Martin, a builder from Barrow-in-Furness who became the first person to
sue HM Revenue & Customs for alleged negligence or administrative
incompetence,
says he will appeal the decision.

Martin, who claims to be facing the possibility of bankruptcy and losing his
home, said he was prepared to take his case all the way to the House of Lords if
necessary.

Andrew Simmonds, QC, ruled that HMRC was responsible for a 52-day ‘negligent’
delay that had plungedMartin into a cash flow crisis.

But, according to The Daily Telegraph, Martin can do nothing because
the tax office is immune to prosecution by individuals and businesses, unlike
other public services such as hospitals and police forces.

Nicholas Bowen, barrister for Mr Martin, told the judge after his ruling:
‘This will, of course, be very welcome news for the Revenue, but a very bitter
pill for Mr Martin. The Revenue have established an effective immunity from
suit.’

He said the impact on Martin’s life was that he would ‘lose his home and be
bankrupted’.

The Revenue had argued that, had Martin won, it would have opened the
floodgates to thousands of claims from businesses and individuals who believed
that they had been disadvantaged.

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