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It is very known that when a tax return has been issued, but not filed by the statutory deadline on time then an automatic penalty of £100 will be issued. There is however, some scope for you to appeal against the penalty if they had a reasonable excuse for filing late.
So what would pass as ‘reasonable’? Unfortunately, exactly what warrants a reasonable excuse isn’t stated in the legislation however it is generally accepted my HMRC that an excuse is reasonable if it is something beyond your control for example; a system failure (which may lead to your deadline being extended), or if you or a close relative has an illness that renders you/them incapable of filing a tax return.
What steps need to be taken? If you are intending to plead a reasonable excuse, there is a further step. As well as showing that the initial delay was caused by an acceptable barrier, you need to be able to demonstrate that you have taken steps appropriately to rectify matters as soon as the circumstances allow.
What won’t you get away with? Being forgetful, ignorant to the law or other similar reasons will not be accepted as reasonable excuses to appeal your penalty for late filing.
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