M18: Extending and shortening time limits
Power to extend or shorten
“(3)…the Tribunal may by direction--
(a) extend or shorten the time for complying with any rule, practice direction or direction, unless such extension or shortening would conflict with a provision of another enactment setting down a time limit;” (FTT Rules, r.5(3)(a))
Conflict with enactment setting down time limit within which referral "must" be made
" However, I do not agree. As [the partnership] submits, not only is the view expressed by the Upper Tribunal, which is not supported by any reasoning, obiter and therefore not binding, rule 5(3)(a) and rule 21 are silent as to the existence of any exception. Moreover, if the Upper Tribunal in VK were right it would render the restriction in rule 5(3)(a), “unless such extension … would conflict with the provision of another enactment setting down a time limit” otiose.
 It therefore follows that as an extension of time would conflict with a provision of another enactment, namely [TMA 1970] s 12ABZB(5), the Tribunal does not have the power under rule 5(3)(a) to grant an extension of time to make a referral under s 12ABZB(3) with the result that any referral that is not made in time “must not” be admitted." (Anderson v. PWC v. HMRC  UKFTT 457 (TC), Judge Brooks - referral of dispute re partnership shares)
Apply for an extension in advance
“If HMRC have a difficulty with compliance they should, where possible, make application to the tribunal to be relieved of compliance on the basis of some alternative proposal which should be canvassed with the taxpayer prior to the application. The reasons for non-compliance and the merits of the alternative should be explained. HMRC had no good reason indeed no stated reason at all for their non-compliance.” (BPP Holdings v. HMRC  EWCA Civ 121, §43).
“HMRC’s failure to apply in advance for an extension of time was lamentable; at the very least it was discourteous to the appellant and the tribunal.” (HMRC v. BPP Holdings Ltd  UKUT 496 (TCC), §48).
- Short extension (2 weeks) applied for in advance granted
" The application, of 20 December 2021, for an extension of time, from 14 January 2022 to 31 January 2022, to provide the SOC to the Tribunal and Redevco was made on the grounds that HMRC:
“… experienced unexpected difficulties in transferring the bundle of papers to their counsel. Further attempts to transfer the documents were undertaken on 16 December 2021 but, in view of the counsel’s availability until the end of January, an extension of time is required for the Respondents to obtain advice and assistance from their counsel in relation to this appeal. HMRC’s position is that the Appellant will not suffer any prejudice as the full case management directions have not yet been issued and a hearing date is not yet fixed.”
 Redevco opposed the application on the grounds that HMRC had provided “no valid reason” for seeking the extension of time or explained why the remaining time for doing so, to 14 January 2022, was insufficient.
 Having regard to all the circumstances, particularly the short extension of time sought, that the SOC has now been provided and that Redevco no longer maintains its objection, I have concluded that the application should be allowed, especially as it was made in advance of the compliance date and, as is clear from Robert v Momentum Service Limited  1 WLR 1577 at , is not an application for relief from sanctions." (Redevco Properties UK 1 Limited v. HMRC  UKFTT 102 (TC), Judge Brooks)