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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Penalties for failure to file on time: appeals against a penalty: overview

A person can appeal against

  • the imposition of a penalty, and
  • the amount of the penalty.

The person does not have to pay the penalty before an appeal against the assessment of the penalty can be considered.

A person can appeal against the penalty even if the penalty is based on a determination of their tax liability.

For procedural purposes, an appeal is treated in the same way as an appeal against an assessment to the tax concerned. This means that the underlying tax will dictate the procedure for reviews and making appeals.

For direct taxes the person appeals to HMRC and this gives the person the opportunity to have a review or to notify the appeal to an independent tribunal, either before or after the review.

For indirect taxes the person can request a review in response to the penalty assessment but can appeal to the tribunal before or after that review has commenced or concluded.

The Appeals, Reviews and Tribunals Guidance (ARTG2100 for direct taxes and ARTG3000 for indirect taxes) contains full guidance on the review and appeals process.

If the penalty relates to a self assessment (SA) tax return, the person may be able to request that the notice to file an SA tax return is withdrawn, see CH61700. If we agree that the person does not have to file an SA tax return, then any penalties for failing to file on time will be cancelled.