Penalties and appeals – message from HMRC

Jun 22, 2020

HMRC has sent the below message that confirms the pandemic can be used as a reasonable excuse by anyone filing their returns or paying their tax late. The relevant penalties will be cancelled, provided the taxpayer files, or pays as soon as they are able to. The deadline for appeals has also been extended to 3 months, if required by a taxpayer. Read the full message from HMRC.  

“It is important that the tax system continues to function so it can fund vital public services such as the NHS. Customers should continue to pay and file on time, and we are grateful for those individuals and businesses that are able to do this. However, HMRC understands that some individuals and businesses will find it difficult to meet deadlines. For example, they may not have access to their business premises or be able to provide the necessary paperwork. 

We will now accept the impacts of COVID-19 as ‘reasonable excuse’ for people who are late filing their returns or paying their tax and the relevant penalties will be cancelled, provided the customer has managed to file or pay as soon as they were able to. 

Customers normally have 30 days to appeal, or ask us for a review, but we know it may not currently be possible for businesses to do this, which is why we are giving people an additional 3 months to do this if they need to. You can read more about this on GOV.UK 

 If an individual cannot pay their tax because of COVID-19, we may be able to agree ‘time to pay’ arrangements with them. We agree these on a case-by-case basis and tailor them to meet people’s individual circumstances. We’ve set up a dedicated helpline for dealing with time to pay arrangements. If you or your clients need help or want to talk about available options, please phone us on 0800 024 1222.”