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Deadline for appeal against late filing

Deadline for appeal against late filing

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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.

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By chewmac
06th May 2015 21:37

Posting one tomorrow

I'm posting an appeal letter tomorrow for penalties outside of 30 days: For 2012/13 and 2013/14. I don't have recent experience but all I can add is that on the phone HMRC advised that I explain why the appeal is being made outside the 30 days.

Not feeling very hopeful.

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By Happy Up North Accountant
06th May 2015 23:04

Thanks

Hi Chewmac,

Thanks for the reply. I've actually been speaking with another accountant who is more experience - the advise is try and try again with them! It's like there's an unofficial policy to automatically deny appeals on first instance apparently.

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By Matrix
07th May 2015 06:58

If you put in the appeal the reason that the appeal is late then it should be considered by HMR if there are reasonable grounds.  I have had 3 late appeals accepted and thousands in penalties refunded.

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By mbuffery
07th May 2015 08:32

The Tax Tribunal decides


The problem arises because HMRC expect all appeals to be directed to them, and then frequently reject the appeal because it is outside the 30 day time limit.  This decision is not theirs to make.  If you use the correct form and make an appeal to the Tax Tribunal, NOT HMRC, there is a box to explain why the appeal has been made late.  Provided there is a good reason, not simply the client or the accountant being inefficient, and the appeal is not hopeless, the Tax Tribunal will usually allow a late appeal. 

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By refs8
07th May 2015 12:11

My experience if it helps

My experience is that often HMRC are more reasonable more with this regard now than perhaps 2 / 3 years ago.

I would draft an appeal letter outlining the basic facts of the case. I tend to put more detail in the first letter and often they come back cancelled. If they don't then keep appealing as long as you feel the case is genuine.

You might be surprised with the outcome. I have many complaints about HMRC this is not one of them.

Good luck!

 

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By bernard michael
07th May 2015 15:13

This from the HMRC website which seems to leave room for equivocation  particularly the last para

Deadlines

You must appeal within 30 days of the date of the penalty notice. If you appeal later, HMRC will look at the information you give them and decide if they’ll consider your appeal.

If you disagree with HMRC’s response

You can ask for a review to be carried out by an HMRC officer who wasn’t previously involved, or you can ask the tax tribunal to hear your appeal.

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