Reply To: Liability question

Bob _Wagstaff

We have amended the certificate that we send to the medical practitioner in SMI cases asking them

1. Does the taxpayer have a severe impairment of social functioning?
2. Does the taxpayer have a severe impairment of intelligence?
3. Is the taxpayer’s condition permanent?

It seems that doctors are less willing to answer YES to question 2 unless it is actually the case. And a taxpayer will find it difficult to argue that they are less intelligent than their doctor considers them to be.

As to who should be liable for the charge, Sub Para 2 of Section 6 of the LGFA gives the hierarchy. From what you have described it sounds as if the SMI tenant is highest on the list.

Sub para 3 then outlines that if there are two people equal on the hierarchy they shall be joint and severally liable. This does not appear to apply here.

Sub para 4 then states that if there is more than one liable person and one has SMI or is a student they shall be disregarded from liability. Again does not appear to apply here from the above.

So under Section 6 the SMI tenant is liable.

Section 9 LGFA then details how to treat spouses and that they should be treated as jointly liable.

So both should be liable. The question of SMI is considered before the liability of the partner.