... is not a reasonable excuse!
However, it has been announced that HMRC will not contest appeals against the £100 late filing penalty in respect of 2013/14 tax returns where the taxpayer provided a reasonable excuse for not filing on time.
In the past, HMRC has looked in detail to judge if each excuse is reasonable but will now reallocate resources onto tax evasion and avoidance.
What counts as a reasonable excuse is normally something unexpected or outside your control that stopped you meeting a tax obligation, for example:
- Death of your partner shortly before the deadline
- An unexpected stay in hospital
- Your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your return online
- HMRC online service issues
- Postal delays that couldn’t be predicted
Although the latest announcement concerns late self-assessment tax returns, the above list of excuses applies generally to other returns and payments such as VAT, PAYE and those due under the Construction Industry Scheme.
To avoid missing your self-assessment tax return filing deadline it is best to get your information together nice and early - any time after 5 April in fact! We are currently in the process of sending out information requests to all our clients, and we ask that information is sent in by 1st December at the very latest. If you leave it until January you run the risk of other things getting in the way at the last minute - some of which, like the examples above, can be unexpected. Although HMRC are taking into consideration whether excuses for late filing are "reasonable", is it not better to plan ahead and avoid the stress and hassle of being up against the filing deadline?
If you need some help and advice or would like Cognitor to handle your 2014/15 tax return for you, we would be more than happy to discuss things further with you and see how we can assist. Just call the office on 01527 836 836 or email email@example.com.
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