Friday 23rd February 2018

How do I appeal a late filing penalty for my tax return?

The online service can be used to appeal a £100 late filing penalty, or form SA370 to appeal any late filing or late payment penalty. 

View the forms and guidance at

You must have a reasonable excuse and that excuse must remain in place throughout the period from the late filing to the filing of the return.  

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
  • service issues with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) online services
  • a fire, flood or theft prevented you from completing your tax return
  • delays related to a disability you have

What won’t count as a reasonable excuse

  • you relied on someone else to send your return and they didn’t
  • you found the HMRC online system too difficult to use
  • you didn’t get a reminder from HMRC
  • you made a mistake on your tax return

Tax payers who appeal penalties succeed 50% of the time.  At SmallBiz Accounts we have a great success rate on appealing penalties.  We are significantly above a 50% success rate.

If you have a reasonable excuse for your late filing in January, our advice is to make an appeal.  It's worth a try.