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Concrete Worker Wins Battle Against HMRC

Published by Prerana
Published Date: April 24, 2024

In a tale of tax despair, a concrete worker found himself in a dispute with HMRC over the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC). The concrete worker was hit with a pay of £19,524.98, which forced him to sell his house at a reduced price in two weeks. Despite facing penalties and the threat of losing his home, he fought back with the help of his accountant.

How Did a Concrete Worker End Up Owing £20,000?

HMRC assessed the concrete worker for HICBC in 2022 with a discovery assessment amount of £15,374 and penalties worth £4,150.98, making the total amount £19,524.98. HMRC’s assessment for the worker was for the tax years 2012/13 to 2018/19. After the worker’s assistance with his accountant, they managed to reduce the penalties to £3,074.80. Also, HMRC removed the tax charge and penalty for tax year 2012/13, making the total amount of HICBC to £14,936.

Concrete Worker sells house to pay HICBC charges

HMRC directed the concrete worker to pay as soon as possible and started a debt recovery plan. However, the worker asked for additional time, which was rejected. Due to the pressure to pay the funds immediately, the worker decided to sell his house at a reduced price.

How Did the Worker Win Against HMRC?

The concrete worker’s case took a turn for the better when it reached the tribunal. The worker and his legal counsel presented a compelling defence, with evidence of his reasonable excuse for being unaware of the HICBC and discrepancies in HMRC's handling of the assessment. 

The tribunal ruled in the worker's favour, citing HMRC's failure to follow its own guidelines and the unjust imposition of penalties. As a result, all penalties and charges were dropped, except for those related to the 2018/19 tax year, significantly reducing the concrete worker's financial liability to a mere £2,501. 

Concrete worker wins tribunal against HMRC

HMRC decided not to appeal the tribunal’s decision, stating that every unpaid tax bill has a human story. There have been other instances where the tribunal has sided with the taxpayer against HMRC's decision. 


The concrete worker's victory against HMRC is a powerful reminder of the importance of perseverance and upholding taxpayers' rights. This case highlights the crucial role played by tribunals in scrutinising HMRC's actions and ensuring that taxpayers are treated fairly. It reaffirms the principle that justice ultimately prevails, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

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