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Late filing penalties

Late filing penalties

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I have a client who was late in submitting his tax return for 5 April 2018 which has resulted in penalty fines totalling approximately £1300. Are there any acceptable grounds for appealing the fines? When the tax return was submitted no tax was due.

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By SteveOH
22nd Oct 2019 10:15

I have had 3 cases over the last several years where this has happened to me with new clients taken on. I sent an appeal letter and my grounds for appeal were: (1) that, at the time, the tax payer was unrepresented; (2) that there was no tax due; and (3) that the taxpayer, having had nothing to declare on the Tax Return, hadn't realised that a Tax Return was needed.

I was somewhat surprised, but pleased, that all 3 appeals were accepted and the penalties reduced to zero. I'm sure that these were not legitimate grounds for appeal; so maybe HMRC were simply being pragmatic.

Appeal anyway. What have you got to lose.

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By Roland195
22nd Oct 2019 10:20

It depends on the circumstances of both why a tax return was issued and why it was not returned on time.

Appealing late fines is a risky business with little consistency in results - if possible, it's far better to get HMRC to agree to withdraw the notice to file the return which then takes the penalties with it. It's a far weaker position to argue from if you have already filed the return in this case.

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By SteveHa
22nd Oct 2019 11:14

A bit after the event, but why was the Return submitted if it gave rise to no tax liability, rather than seek S8B withdrawal?

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By Paul D Utherone
25th Oct 2019 14:46

Phew! That's better :)

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