Thanks for the response robbob. Yes, it would be funny if all this were not actually true.
The recent criticism of HMRC from the CIOT included the subject of unpublished tribunal cases.
Of course, we very nearly had a NRCGT tribunal case (lost by HMRC) that would probably have remained unpublished had it not been for this thread. rbk123 (who won the case) wrote three times to point out it had not been published without any success. I was initially told to keep my nose out and only after I ignored that advice was it subsequently agreed that the case would be published.
Now, if it was any old case, the above could perhaps be quickly forgotten, but the Kirsopp (x2) case is not any old case. Since it finally found the light of day, HMRC has not had any NRCGT tribunal cases published on the Gov' website, a point that was predicted by Peter Vaines in his article below.
There has been another case Kirsopp v HMRC  UKFTT 0217 (TC) which might be thought to be just another one in the growing catalogue of conflicting decisions … but perhaps not. This case might just bring the debate to a close.
The distinguished Upper Tribunal Judge Charles Hellier (sitting in the FTT for this case) explained that there was a divergence of opinion among FTT Judges on the matter. However, he drew attention to the decision of the Upper Tribunal in Perrin v Revenue & Customs  UKFTT 488 (TC) which held that it was a matter for the judgment of the FTT in each case whether it was objectively reasonable for the particular taxpayer to have been ignorant of the requirements in question.
Judge Hellier specifically rejected HMRC’s argument that a taxpayer has an obligation to keep up to date with the law. He held that there is no such obligation. A penalty may arise from an inexcusable breach of the law, but not from the failure to keep up to date.
In the circumstances of Mr and Mrs Kirsopp, Judge Hellier concluded that they had displayed a reasonable regard to complying with their tax obligations and remedied their failure within a reasonable time after they discovered the true position. They therefore had a reasonable excuse.
I would respectfully suggest that this must be right. It surely cannot be reasonable for HMRC to suggest that non-resident individuals have a duty to keep up to date with all aspects of UK tax legislation which could possibly affect them; and must regularly read all HMRC publications and be completely familiar with the HMRC website. It would follow from this reasoning that everybody in the world must have this duty. And there is no reason why this obligation not extend to all UK legislation – not just tax.
Can you imagine what the Chairman of HMRC would say if he went to Sweden and was immediately fined a large sum of money by the authorities there. Why have I been fined? Because you have contravened one of our rules. You have a duty to be up to date with Swedish law (and with all the materials published by the government – all in Swedish). So pay up. But that is just silly, he would say.
If HMRC has changed course in dealing with NRCGT return late filers and it agrees the Taxpayers Charter is still in play, why has it not announced an internal review of its earlier behaviour?
If either Lee, who wrote two brilliant articles on NRCGT late filings, or Mark (the editor) read this post, are they able to advise why they have seemingly ceased (at least in print) to support this cause? If they now disagree with my standpoint, I am very happy to be educated with reasoned argument.
I could suggest they have both been offered knighthoods to keep quiet, but that would be too naughty of me.