HMRC Tax Return Deadline – Reasonable ExcuseSunday, January 29th, 2012
The 31 January filing deadline applies to all taxpayers required to complete a SA tax return by HMRC. This is, of course, unless they can demonstrate that there is a ‘reasonable excuse’ for not doing so.
In this regard, last week, BBC’s Money Box programme discussed the issue of a member of Britain’s armed forces serving in Afghanistan. This officer faced the prospect of a penalty, as he was having difficulty meeting his filing obligations from Kabul due to constraints such as limited, or no, Internet access. HMRC advised that there were no special provisions in place for members of HM Forces to be granted an extension to the filing deadline.
Jane Moore , Technical Manager of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), read out the following statement, received from HMRC:
‘If our people in the armed forces let us know that they are in Afghanistan, HMRC will immediately cancel the penalty’
Much case law exists which expands HMRC’s vague description on their Website of what they class as a ‘reasonable excuse’ for non-compliance. Is it time for the Website description to be updated in light of the two concessions this year, or does this make the defence of reasonable excuse open to abuse? We welcome both concessions this year.
- BBC Money Box 21 January 2012 – Programme Transcript