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Self assessment late payment penalty

Has anyone had any success in appealing against a self assessment late payment penalty?

My client has just received a penalty for £400 which represents 5% of the tax that was outstanding for 2010/2011 as at 1 March 2012.  The client was late in filing his tax return (filed 4th April 2012) and started making arrangements to try and settle his outstanding tax bill of £8k.  He paid 25% of the tax straight away and tried to organise with HMRC a payment plan to settle the rest.  HMRC have been very unhelpful regarding this which has led to my client to take out a bank loan at a much higher rate to settle the debt with HMRC asap.

The client understood that he would have a late filing penalty of £100 plus interest, but feels that the additional £400 is unfair and equates to an interest rate of approx 20%!!

My client was self employed for a year (2010/2011) and taxable income was £35k.  He was the sole earner in his house at the time as his wife had maternity leave with their second child.  My client had suffered £8k of bad debts with one of his customers and as a result returned to employment for most of 2011/2012.  I know it is no excuse but as he was only self employed for just one year and suffered a substantial bad debt the money was not there to be paid.  I feel that HMRC will not see this as a reason to not impose the penalty but I feel I should try for my client.

Has anyone got any advice on how to appeal against this?


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By stratty
26th Apr 2012 18:17


I would be surprised if this appeal would be successful.  HMRC will always charge the 5% on unpaid tax as at the end of February.  

You could try with the sob story but it may just be a waste of your time.

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By K81
27th Apr 2012 13:55

as stratty says appeal

as stratty says appeal unlikely to succeed.


The only surcharges that I have ever had luck cancelling are in cases where my client had arranged time to pay before 28 Feb and as the SA return was filed late also I think that you have no chance, sorry.

hope you can proove me wrong.




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By GabbyH
27th Apr 2012 14:22

Thanks for your feedback.  I

Thanks for your feedback.  I think you are confirming what I already knew, but may just give it a go.  You never know!!

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