Can I appeal against HMRC penalties?

Author: Russell Smith
June 20, 2015

The quick answer to this is yes.

You are always legally able to appeal our fine providing you have a ‘reasonable excuse’.

Unfortunately, what HMRC say is a ‘reasonable excuse’ and what you say may be two different things.  Generally, HMRC say that this represents a serious illness, bereavement or a technological failure.  (“The dog ate my tax return” generally doesn’t work).

You may also have to provide documentation to back up your excuse although obviously this is difficult in some circumstances.

However, last month, HMRC conceded that it didn’t have the necessary resources to check every appeal so they are more likely to accept an appeal.

You are still able to lodge an appeal for any 2013-14 tax returns.

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