Stuart Hill is claiming victory in the first round of his fight to get the UK government to explain how it derives its authority in Shetland.
After refusing to send in self-assessment forms and incurring the consequent penalties, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs threatened legal action with a hearing before the Tax Commissioners. Mr. Hill continued to hold out, telling them to go ahead and arrange the hearing. Not having had notification of the date after two phone calls, he wrote asking when the hearing was to be. After a three-month delay, the reply came back that he did not need to complete self-assessment forms from 2006-2007 onwards and that all penalties are cancelled.
Mr. Hill said: "This is extraordinary. The only reason I have given for non-payment is that I am not subject to UK tax law because I live in Shetland. Their climb-down is tantamount to an admission that I have a good case.
This case is also a reminder that governments will demand taxes they know they do not have a legal right to in the hopes you will simply pay up without question.