Did you know that you can appeal against HMRC penalties if you have a reasonable excuse for late filing?

Here’s what the HMRC classes as a “reasonable excuse”

  • If your partner or another close relative died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline.
  • You had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs.
  • A serious or life-threatening illness that is delaying or preventing you from filing.
  • Technology! Most of the time technology is an amazing thing. But sometimes your computer or software might fail just before or whilst you are preparing your online return. If this happens, try to take screen shots and save them to your computer as proof.
  • Service issues with HMRC online services may prevent you from filing. Again, make sure you take screen shots or have proof of what happened to back you up.
  • A fire, flood or theft may have prevented you from completing your tax return in time.
  • Postal delays that you couldn’t have predicted
  • Delays related to a disability you have

Note that you may need to provide proof of the reasonable excuses above.

You must send your return or payment as soon as possible after your reasonable excuse is resolved.

How you contact the HMRC to discuss your “Reasonable Excuse”

  • First, you should contact the HMRC as soon as possible.

For Business Payment Support Services You can call them on:

Telephone: 0300 200 3835
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 8am to 4pm

For Self-Assessment issues:
Call the Self-Assessment helpline if you’ve missed your payment date.

Telephone: 0300 200 3822
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 8am to 4pm

What HMRC won’t accept as a reasonable excuse:

  • If you relied on someone else to send your return and they didn’t. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring your tax return is filed on time, that is regardless of whether or not you use an accountant.
  • Your cheque bounced or payment failed because you didn’t have enough money.
  • The HMRC online system may be difficult to use, especially for first timers. However they will not class this as a reasonable excuse for filing late.
  • You didn’t get a reminder from HMRC.
  • You made a mistake on your tax return.

It is best to always be honest and open and communicate your issues with them, they will guide you in the right direction.

Last year the HMRC gathered a whopping £87million from people who missed the deadline. Don’t be one of those people who contributes towards that extra earning this year. We pay enough in taxes without paying additional penalties too!

If you don’t have the time to file your tax return outsource it to a reputable company.

If you have any questions and are looking to speak with someone outside the HMRC in confidence for advice, call Franklin James Credit Management or email info@fj-creditmanagement.co.uk for guidance.