Robin Williamson

Robin Williamson
Robin Williamson MBE CTA (Fellow) is an author and commentator on tax, welfare and public policy. He was technical director of the CIOT’s Low Incomes Tax Reform Group from 2003 to 2018 and a part-time senior policy adviser at the Office of Tax Simplification from 2018 to 2019. In May 2020 he won the lifetime achievement award at the Tolley Taxation Awards.

Recent Posts

When is ignorance of the law a reasonable excuse?

The expression ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse’ is well-known. Read more

Judicial review comes under the spotlight

Access to this remedy should be widened, not narrowed, says Robin Williamson. Read more

Taxing the rich?

In this article I consider what options the government has for using tax reform to help restore the public finances following the coronavirus pandemic, in particular in relation to the taxation of... Read more

Universal credit, RTI and the perils of automation

The Court of Appeal has found that the system whereby a universal credit claimant is treated as receiving two payments of salary in an assessment period in which they are paid early (because the... Read more

Tax on coronavirus support payments

A new clause and schedule to the current Finance Bill sets out how coronavirus support payments will be taxed, how overpayments will be recovered, and the severe penalties chargeable where businesses... Read more

Swings and roundabouts: Tax and welfare interaction in the coronavirus age

In the last couple of months, many individuals have experienced financial loss, but most of them have been able to turn to the State for support in the form of the Job Retention Scheme and now also... Read more

Can HMRC be compelled to keep to its word?

Can a taxpayer require HMRC to do what it has said it will do, even if it is wrong or based on a mistaken view of the law? Read more

Discovery assessments must be 'new' and not 'stale'

Under TMA 1970, s 29, HMRC can raise an assessment where it ‘discovers’ that: Read more

Stalin ate my homework: Reasonable excuse and the Self Assessment deadline

As the title of Alexei Sayle’s acclaimed autobiography reminds us, school teachers are used to feeble excuses. So is HMRC. Each year on its website, we are entertained by examples of excuses offered... Read more

The PAYE underpayment conundrum

The PAYE underpayment conundrum The recent case of Goldsmith looked at how HMRC collects PAYE underpayments, with some interesting points on when they can validly issue a notice to file a tax return. Read more

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