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HMRC’s scandalous pursuit of penalties

Robin Williamson reports on the 2019 case of Krzysztof Pokorowski v HMRC where the tribunal said HMRC’s pursuit of penalties was “a scandal”.

RightsAlthough it is not unknown for tribunal judges to criticise HMRC’s conduct of an appeal, it is rare for it to be called a scandal. Yet it is hard to disagree with that assessment of HMRC’s handling of Krzysztof Pokorowski v HMRC (2019) TC06970, on which Judge Nicholas Aleksander delivered judgement on 8 February 2019.

Mr Pokorowski was a self-employed electrician who was in work until April 2014. Falling on hard times, he lost his work, his home, his savings and his belongings. He lived on the street until January 2017 when he moved into hostel accommodation. Later on in 2017 he found work and acquired a permanent home in London.