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SEISS disqualification for late return

2nd March deadline? Can this be appealed where late submission was beyond the clients control?

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I have two clients who have recently applied for the 5th SEISS grant, and been rejected because their 2019-20 tax return was submitted after 2nd March 2021.  Their returns were in fact completed in January, but due to some sort of glitch in my tax return software they were not submitted successfully.  (They were part of a batch of 5 clients returns which suffered this fate, but the other 3 do not qualify for SEISS anyway - rental income only) We did not become aware of the non-submission until we received the late filing penalties in mid-March, whereupon the returns were immediately submitted and I paid the late filing penalties on behalf of the clients.

It seems totally inequitable that clients should suffer through a computer error which was nothing to do with them.

Anybody else come up against this (I don't recall any similar filing deadline in the previous SEISS applications)

Any suggestions much appreciated

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By paul.benny
04th Aug 2021 12:09

Tricky one, this. It's not due to anything on HMRC's part and in general, they don't accept "I left it to my accountant" as an excuse.

Presumably your software returns some kind of submission confirmation; HMRC also issue submission receipts. You should really have known (or been able to know) that some filings were not made. Understandably with the deadline rush, perhaps you overlooked those checks.

The clients may get a concession from HMRC but ultimately, I think the liability falls on you.

(Caveat - I'm not in practice and I'm looking at this as an observer)

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By Cat's whiskers
04th Aug 2021 12:26

I agree with Paul Benny. Was it really a technical glitch or user error? It's unfortunate but I think you need to speak with your PI insurer.

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Replying to Cat's whiskers:
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By jonharris999
05th Aug 2021 10:13

+1 - I'm sorry about this on your behalf, there but for the grace of God go many of us etc. :(

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Scooby
By gainsborough
04th Aug 2021 15:24

What was on the confirmation emails that you received from HMRC - Did the returns show as successfully submitted when, in fact, they weren't, or did they show unsuccessful submissions, in which case, I agree with Paul's comment above.

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
09th Aug 2021 15:21

It is up to you to provide evidence that you believed the submissions in January were successful. If you can't then you are unlikely to get HMRC to back down on this. They are being put under pressure to not pay out any more than they have to.

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