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Sam, Accountant
Category: UK Tax
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I have received a penality notice from Tax. Please advise me

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I have received a penality notice from Tax. Please advise me to deal with the situation.

You told us that you did not send your tax return in on time because you went to Pakistan on

29 December 2012 and were living in a remote area where you did not have access to the

internet, therefore you sent a paper tax return by international courier..

I have considered your appeal against the late filing penalty for the tax year ended

5 April 2012. ^. . < ,

I do not agree that you have a reasonable excuse because the time given for completion of

a return is considered to be sufficient to allow you to arrange your affairs to ensure that your

return is completed and submitted on time..

About 'reasonable excuse'

The law says that:

• there must be a reasonable excuse for your failure to send your return in on time and

• the reasonable excuse must have continued throughout the whole period when your tax

return was overdue.

The law does not define reasonable excuse. Our view is that a reasonable excuse will only

apply when an unexpected or unusual event, either unforeseeable or beyond your control,

has prevented you from sending your return in on time. We will consider the facts in each


There are some things that we will not normally accept as being a reasonable excuse, for


• pressure of work

• lack of information• HMRC did not send a reminder

• ignorance of basic law.

What you need to do by 17 July 2013

If you accept my decision, please write to let me know.

If you think that my view is wrong, and you still think you have a good reason, you can:

• ask HMRC to carry out an independent review, or

• continue your appeal by sending it to HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

Asking for an independent review

If you ask HMRC to carry out an independent review you must write to:


Appeals & Review Unit

Foyle House

Duncreggan Road



The review will be carried out by an HMRC officer who has not been involved in the matter

before. Please explain the reasons why you disagree with HMRC's decision to charge you

this penalty and provide any further information that you want to be considered. I have

enclosed a form to help you do this.

If you choose to have a review and are not happy with the outcome of that review, you will

still be able to send your appeal to HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

Sending your appeal to HM Courts & Tribunals Service

If you decide to send your appeal to HM Courts & Tribunals Service without a review (see

What you need to do by 17 July 2013' above), you must do this by 17 July 2013.

For more information about this and for the appeal form, go to
or phone them on 0845(NNN) NNN-NNNN

You will not be able to have a review of your appeal after you have sent it to

HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

It is not possible to ask for a review and send your appeal to HM Courts & Tribunals Service

at the same time.

If you do not act

If you do not request a review or send your appeal to HM Courts & Tribunals Service by

17 July 2013, your appeal will be treated as settled on the basis that you do not have a

reasonable excuse and you will have to pay the penalty.

More information

More information about appeals is available:

• on our website, go to
• in factsheet HMRC1 HMRC decisions - what to do if you disagree. To get a copy of this,

go to phone our orderline on 0845 9000 404.Interest

Until the appeal is settled the penalty remains due, even if it is shown on your Statement of

Account as 'collection suspended'.

Interest is calculated for each day that the penalty is not paid. You can reduce or avoid any

interest by paying it now, even if you continue with your appeal. If you pay the penalty and

your appeal succeeds, we will repay it and pay you interest for the period from when you

paid it until we repay you.

We offer a range of free workshops that can help you meet your tax obligations. For more

information go to phone our booking team on 0845(NNN) NNN-NNNN

90994 48324 12:32:14 2

More help

If you are having difficulty paying us, you may want to phone our Self Assessment Payment

Helpline on 0845(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Yours sincerely



Thanks for your question


Had you previously completed self assessment tax returns prior to your departure from the UK. Did you submit these yourself or have an accountant acting for you?

Why were you not able to deal with the self assessment for 2012 prior to you leaving the UK in Dec 2012.

What date did you send in the return, and did you plan to return to Pakistan, or was this due to a particular circumstance. that could not be foreseen?






Customer: replied 4 years ago.



Thank you for your answer and say further as follow


1. My accounts were made by my accountant on 7 Janusary 2012. for Oct to Dec. 2012 the period I lworked in year 2011-2012. a went to Pakistan to help my wife in Pakistan where I remained till july 2012.


In UK I remained ill until I went again to Pakistan to visit my family in Pakistan. I wanted to do my accounts as made by my accountant on internet but the area Iit was in Pakistan had no internet facility. The accounts had to be accurate therefore I was not possible due to shortage of electricity and access to internet therefore I sent my tax return by Express International Couturier service from Pakistan on 29 December 2012.



On 29 December I was in Pakistan, I was with the accounts with the original accounts made by my accountant.which I sent with my tax return.


I could not send the Tax return as I had sent the Accounts made by my accountant to Immigration in Islamabad in July 2012 who

returned it in December 2012 which were sent to to Inland Revenue with my tax return therefore I feel the circumstances were not in my control as my original Accounts made by my accountant were with the immigration



Thanks for your response and the additional information


If you only worked from Oct 12 to Dec 12, (did you mean Oct 2011 to Dec 2011) this is Not for the tax year 2011/2012, but 2012/2013, and if your accountant had accounts for you ready by 07/01/2012- then these dates do not tie in.

The 2011/2012 tax return would be for all income for the period 06/04/2011 to 05/04/2012, were you in the UK for these dates, were you employed or self employed or have income from abroad coming into the UK?


Did you mean that you accountant had your tax return ready by 07/01/2012, for income for the period 06/04/2011 to 05/04/2012, if so why was this not sent to HMRC by 31/12/2012? (final deadline for the 2011/2012 year)


You advise that you did not stayed out of the UK July 2012 - but not when you left the UK, so why was the tax return not filed before you left (But any date after 31/01/2012 would have been late and would have incurred penalties anyway)


Why were the accounts not accurate if your accountant had completed everything already?


When you state accounts, what does this mean? were you self employed? And why did you send these to Immigration when these had not been agreed by HMRC?

Perhaps you can clarify these points.






Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your response. I am sorry to give the wrong dates. I try to describe the events as follow"

I was domiciled to Pakistan for many years but became UK resident in August 2011. I am registered self employed property Manager since August 2011

I worked October to December 2011. My wife required Projected accounts for Immigration which my accountant made for the period. I went to Pakistan to help my wife from January 2012 To July 2012. I could not use the Accounts as it were sent to Immigration, were returned in December 2012. Tax return required for evidence.
The rest of the informatio ia as I stated. On the tax return deadline by internet was by end December 2012 but I sent by couirrier in December 2012.



Thanks for the further clarification


The tax return was then for self employment from Aug 2011 to 05/04/2012, and this return (containing income and expenditure for that period which would also have included the work you did from Oct 2011 to Dec 2011) had to be with HMRC by 31/10/2012 in filing a paper return and by 31/01/2013 if filing online.



Had you filed online you would have met the deadline, but as you had no internet access then you were late (hence the penalties for the late return)

But your accountant should have filed the return for you, and provided you with a copy for Immigration, and filed this return to HMRC for you in good time.


I think your issue here is with the accountant and why he was late in acting for you, as he could have filed this return for you (online) and then you would not have missed the deadline.


But I agree with HMRC there are no grounds for appeal, and I would approach the accountant for his/her comments as to why they did not file the return for you, so you avoided this late filing (paper return) penalty.





Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your opinion on the matter. Unfortunately the accountant I hired to give me the accounts for Immigration. The accountant was appointed for any further servives. Immigration took 5 months to return the accounts. I feel the immigration took more time I expected therefore delay was not forseen.Please let me know how much penality as I expect 100 pound. I was ill since July last year and have not worked in UK. What



Thanks for your response


Do you owe HMRC any tax? Could you not have asked the accountant to supply you with another copy of the accounts to file the tax return?




Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Thank you for being so helpful. I was trying to communicate and contained some typing errors which are corrected by using a laptop.


I am on the deadline of 17 July to respond to tax for review . I have no accountant as the one who done the accounts for Immigration was hired and was not instructed to deal my tax affairs. The delay took place mainly by Immigration who returned my documents in December 2012, at the time I had no access to internet which is unreliable in Pakistan due to electricity cuts.


I do not owe any tax at the moment as I only earned pound 1800 per month for 3 months. I claim for wife and 4 children in Pakistan, but I have not received any notification so far from tax


.I am on pound 4000 per year pension. .Please give me the fax no of the Review to send my form from Pakistan.


Please advice if I can claim any sickness benefit as self employed.


what sort of penality I can expect if I failed review.



Thanks for your response


I am afraid there is no fax number available (unless given directly from a specific officer dealing with a tax aspect)

What form do you need to send in?

If you owe no tax then the penalty will be £100 for the late return, (see table blow)and you will not be entitled to sickness benefit.





Penalties for missing the tax return deadline

Length of delay

Penalty you will have to pay

1 day late

A penalty of £100. This applies even if you have no tax to pay or have paid
the tax you owe.

3 months late

£10 for each following day - up to a 90 day maximum of £900. This is as well
as the fixed penalty above.

6 months late

£300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher. This is as well as the
penalties above.

12 months late

£300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher.
In serious cases you
may be asked to pay up to 100% of the tax due instead.
These are as well as
the penalties above.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your information. From which date the penality is to be calculated as was to submit accounts by internet but sent by Courrier from Pakistan.

I will argue the delay was due to immigration delayed coupled with accessibility to internet and uncertanty due to power cuts in Pakistan. The application form is from Review office of Tax and if not acceptable may have to go for the Tribunal. Din



Thanks for your question


The penalty arises from 01/11/2012 as the return (paper) had to be in with HMRC by 31/10/2012.


There is (in my opinion) no successful argument here, as you could have

1) Kept a copy of the accounts prepared by the accountant so you could submit your tax return before you left the UK

2) Asked the accountant for another copy of the accounts to submit your return after they had been sent to Immigration.

3) Asked the accountant that prepared the accounts to submit an online return for you, at any time up to the 31/01/2013

4) Immigration, may have needed the accounts but your priority should have been to submit this information (rather than the actual accounts) to HMRC, as its for them to assess your position first and foremost (then send copies to Immigration, or submit your details at the same time to Immigration)




The fact that you left it so late, and then had no internet access (which cannot be the case from July 2012 to Dec 2012 and if it was, then you knew there was a problem so should have made other arrangements) has not been accepted by HMRC, and a review within HMRC will not alter this decision, and I will advise there is no room to win an appeal at tribunal, as you had so many other options available to you, and this will just be a costly exercise to undertake, if you engage a specialist to represent you.


I am sorry the news is not more encouraging but you did not meet HMRC deadlines, when you could have at any time up to 31/01/2013








Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your summing up the situation. The deadline you indicated do not match the printed deadline on the tax return to be 31 October 2012 as my tax year was to end April 2012. The chart I saw the penality should be 100 pound up to three months before it starts to add up at 10 pound per day. I did not stop self employment but went to help my prospective business partner in her visa but was delayed due to immigration problem.

I am sure the tax must have some system to send reminder for tax return as it is done by all other government departments. Plese look for the correct tax return dates.



These are the correct return dates

Tax year ending 05/04/2012, if you file a paper return then the deadline is 31/10/2012 but if you file it online then the deadline is 31/01/2013.


See link here to clarify this (this indicates the deadlines for the returns for year ending 2013, so all you need to do is move all the dates back from 2013 to 2012)


Reminders are sent out - but did you advise HMRC of your address abroad when you left in July 2012 ? The reminders are issued throughout Dec of the appropriate year, with a blank paying in slip attached. And the dates are shown on the self assessment return - see link here

See the box titled deadlines.


I am sorry the news is not better for you.













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