Assessing Time Limits: Onus of proof and level of proof
You need to establish whether the inaccuracy or failure occurred
- despite the person taking reasonable care, or
because of the person’s careless behaviour. This includes not telling us of
- an inaccuracy made despite taking reasonable care without unreasonable delay after discovering it, or
- a failure to notify liability to income tax, capital gains tax or corporation tax without unreasonable delay after any reasonable excuse for the failure had ceased, or
- because of the person’s deliberate behaviour.
The onus of proof of careless or deliberate behaviour is on HMRC.
Level of proof
The level (or standard) of proof is the balance of probabilities. This means that on the evidence, it is more likely than not that the inaccuracy or the failure to comply with an obligation was made carelessly or deliberately.
Whilst the standard of proof is the same whether the inaccuracy or failure is careless or deliberate, the quality of evidence should be higher for the more serious behaviour.