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Charged 5% late payment fee by HMRC

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I had posted off my Tax return in early Feb but the cheque never cashed so I guessed it must have got lost as I got a reminder at the end of Feb. Took the cheque in physically this time to the bank which cashed fine. 


Got a letter today to say I have been charge 5% which is a few hundred that I can't afford. 


Can I appeal this?  Spoke with them on the phone and they weren't to accommodating. 

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paper tax returns ahve to be in by Oct, online by Jan so you were at least a month too late regardless. You could try arguing about the lost cheque and hope they hit you for £100 instead of the 5%

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This was the first payment on the account for the tax year. So the returns were filed online on time it’s just the payment was late. 

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Appeals are possible but need to be made in writing within 30 days to be considered.



About three quarters of the way down ....this .....

Appeals against the imposition of a surcharge

Section 59C(7) to (10)

The taxpayer may appeal against a surcharge, but must do so within 30 days of the date on which the surcharge was imposed.

In general the normal review and appeals procedures apply (see ARTG2100), but the grounds of appeal are confined to showing that the taxpayer had ‘a reasonable excuse for not paying the tax’ on time.

If it appears to the tribunal that throughout the ‘period of default’ (that is the period from the due date to the day before that on which the tax was paid) the taxpayer had a reasonable excuse for not paying the tax then the surcharge will be set aside.

But if there was no reasonable excuse the imposition of the surcharge will be confirmed.

There is no formal definition of ‘reasonable excuse’, but an inability to pay the tax due shall not be regarded as a reasonable excuse.

Unless you have some sort of proof that you posted your cheque instead of paying online, or some other "reasonable excuse", then you may have difficulty avoiding the 5% surcharge.

Good luck.

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