Tax & admin · 30 January 2018

Taxpayers urged to challenge HMRC penalty for late submissions

HMRC issues an instant 100 fine as soon as the midnight deadline is missed
Taxpayers who miss the 31 January self-assessment deadline have been advised to consider whether they have a legitimate case to challenge HMRC’s late submission penalty.

The tax office recently reiterated its penalties for late submissions, and those who miss Wednesday’s midnight deadline will automatically receive a 100 fine. Even if no tax is owed, filings must still be submitted.

However, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has urged taxpayers unlikely to meet the deadline to consider whether their own circumstances may constitute a reasonable excuse.

A reasonable excuse would need to involve something out of the taxpayer’s control, such as an unexpected hospital stay or severe weather disruptions. If a reasonable excuse is approved by HMRC, the individual must still file a submission as soon as the excuse has ceased.

HMRC excuses


Revealed: HMRC’s worst self-assessment excuses

Here are some of the most fanciful self-assessment excuses received following last year’s 31 January deadline, all of which were rejected by HMRC.


An online SA370 appeal form is available from GOV.UK which may be submitted with a late tax return. HMRC will then review the penalty decision, but crucially is not the final arbiter of any disputes between taxpayers. A tax tribunal may be called to hear appeals against HMRC’s decision.

Reminding taxpayers of the process, Robin Williamson, LITRG technical director, said: It is important that people are aware of their rights as well as their obligations, and are not alarmed unduly if contacted by HMRC.



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