Information & Inspection Powers: penalties: when is a penalty chargeable: reasonable excuse: what is not a reasonable excuse
While you must consider all relevant circumstances, there are some situations which we will not normally accept alone as a reasonable excuse.
- Doing nothing because of a lack of understanding.
- Pressure of work.
- Assembling information or finding documents or assets is too difficult.
- HMRC did not remind me.
What is or is not a reasonable excuse is personal to the individual’s abilities and circumstances. Those abilities and circumstances may mean that what is a reasonable excuse for one person may not be a reasonable excuse for another.
The law mentions two specific situations that are not reasonable excuses. These are
- a shortage of funds, see CH26420 for more detail and an exception, and
- reliance on another person, see CH26440 for more detail and an exception.