Further to our last post with some outrageous excuses for not submitting your tax return, here we will examine what exactly does constitute a reasonable excuse in the eyes of HMRC. Taxpayers that have not yet filed their 2016-17 self-assessment returns will have been charged an automatic £100 penalty for late submission. The penalty applies from 1 February 2018 even if no tax was due or the tax due was paid on time.
In some cases, it is possible to appeal against any penalty if you have a good reason for sending in a late return. However, taxpayers must have what is known as a ‘reasonable excuse’ for filing a self-assessment return late had and ensured that the return was sent in as soon as possible following the deadline.
HMRC’s guidance lists the following examples of what may count as a reasonable excuse:
- your partner or another close relative died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline
- you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs
- you had a serious or life-threatening illness
- your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online return
- issues with HMRC online services
- a fire, flood or theft prevented you from completing your tax return
- postal delays that you couldn’t have predicted
- delays related to a disability you have
However, not receiving a reminder or making a mistake are amongst the reasons not counted as reasonable excuses (as well as a few others outlined in out last post). There are further penalties as time goes on and we would urge anyone who still has not filed their self-assessment return to do so as soon as possible. If we can help in any way, please get in touch.
Source: HMRC | 02-02-2018