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Appealing against a penalty surcharge

Appealing against a penalty surcharge

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Does anyone know how strictly HMRC apply the 30 day time limit for appealing against surcharges?

My client appealed against his own surcharge in October.  HMRC replied on 31 Oct refusing the appeal on the grounds that payment was late and that is what the legislation says.

Is it too late to appeal this decision now?  Client has just been evicted from his home, so I want to appeal on the grounds of reasonable excuse - couldn't afford to keep a roof over his head so certainly couldn't afford tax payments.

Any views on the lateness of the appeal?

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By chatman
15th Dec 2011 00:36

VCP10561 says "Alternatively, traders who have been surcharged for a late payment of VAT can appeal against the surcharge directly to an independent tribunal, without asking HMRC for a review." without mentioning a time limit.

i think it is worth writing to  HMRC again, giving the reasonable excuse.

I recently submitted an appeal against a surcharge which was incorrectly issued (payment made on time) very late because the first the client heard about it was when the bailiff turned up. It took ages to find out they had incorrectly allocated the payment, because HMRC  refuses to provide the phone number of the relevant office. As a result, the appeal was very late. Obviously I have had no response from HMRC. If they ignore the facts and try to enforce the charge I will go to the tribunal.

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By mbuffery
15th Dec 2011 11:12

Time limit is 30 days after the decision.  Usually, HMRC will not object to a late appeal.  Even if they object, you can ask the Tribunal for permission to appeal late.  It is rare for appeals to be struck out on grounds that they were made late, particularly if you or your client have been corresponding with HMRC to try and resolve the matter.  However, if you leave it too long, the risk increases that HMRC or the Tribunal may consider that you or your client have simply been dilatory.  The sooner you appeal, the better. 

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