If HMRC sends you a late filing penalty, there is a more than a one in three chance that it is wrong and you can get it cancelled. A freedom of information request has found that HMRC cancels more than a third of the penalties it issues, because (it claims) the taxpayer had a reasonable excuse. But a high proportion of the late filing penalties will have been issued incorrectly as the tax return was actually submitted on time.
We expect a large number of incorrect late filing penalties to be issued for last year’s tax returns as lots of paper returns were submitted after the paper filing deadline of 31 October 2017. This was necessary because the electronic route was blocked by HMRC’s computer, which couldn’t cope with ‘unusual’ combinations of income and allowances for 2016 – 17.
Taxpayers who were forced to submit ‘late’ paper returns will have a reasonable excuse, but that has to be claimed, either with the return or by appealing against the automatic penalty.
We can help you submit an appeal against any late filing penalty you receive from HMRC.