Fascinating application of DDA against HMRC

Disability Discrimination & bankruptcy

In a fascinating and radical application of the diability discrimination rules, in a recent case a woman suffering from a chronic mental illness which manifested, among other ways, in her having  a phobia of opening mail, had her bankruptcy annulled by the High Court under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

The woman had ignored the commercial law requirement to complete tax returns sent to her by HMRC due to her illness and the HMRC had assesses her liability in the absence of the legally required returns. Where HMRC  were found to have not made the necessary “reasonable adjustments” under the Act was by virtue of the fact after sending a statutory demand to the woman, it seems her mother opened this and then wrote to them explaining why no returns had been submitted. The Revenue ignored this and proceeded with a bankruptcy petition.

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