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.


We will link your business bank account to Xero software. All your income and expenses will feed directly in to Xero. This saves you time in preparing your year end paperwork, and you can even store your documents in Xero