Sorry if that has been discussed to death on the forums but I haven't had time to check them in a while.
I've had a few clients come on board owing thousands to HMRC in daily late filing penalties - many of whom have genuine causes to appeal (i.e. terminal illnesses etc) and ALL of whom have owed NOTHING to HMRC in tax.
And yet, no matter what letter we put together the response is always the same:
"I am sorry to tell you that the deadline for appealing has past" stating that you only get 30 days in which to appeal. They don't even bother reading WHY the client failed the deadline for so long.
I'd just sincerely appreciate any comments on how and why this is the case, given that during those 30 days you could in incapacitated etc? And I'm talking about the tax year ending 2013 so not exactly 10 years a go.
I just know that in the past I've had appeals for very VERY loose cases been accepted. I've not dealt with penalties in some time because I've been fortunate not to have new clients with them but since when did HMRC become more <insert profanity here> than they already were? Has there been any tribunals against this "30 days" to respond rule?
And please, if you have a smart comment of "well, they knew the deadline so what real excuse do they have?" please don't bother. We're talking about people who are ignorant, poor and weak and who are desperately trying to catch up after a very rough time.