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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

Compliance: Overview & ‘Reasonable excuse’: ‘Reasonable excuse’- Introduction

This guidance sets out what you may or may not accept as being a ‘reasonable excuse’ when it comes to considering

  • why returns or payments were not filed or paid on time
  • why a customer may not have met their compliance obligations leading to gross payment status not being granted - or being withdrawn
  • CIS penalty appeals.

You may also require this guidance when you are considering appeals made by a customer in any of the circumstances set out above. An appeal may be upheld in the customer’s favour where the customer

  • satisfies HMRC that they have a ‘reasonable excuse’ for the failure(s) concerned (see CISR81050), and 
  • remedies the failure(s) without unreasonable delay after the excuse has ended (see CISR81110).

The guidance is set out as follows

CISR81030 Statutory references
CISR81040 Establishing the facts
CISR81050 How will HMRC be satisfied that a ‘reasonable excuse’ exists?
CISR81060 What can be a ‘reasonable excuse’?
CISR81070 What can be a ‘reasonable excuse’? -examples
CISR81080 Cash-flow problems & TTQT failures
CISR81090 What is not a ‘reasonable excuse’?
CISR81100 Reliance on another person
CISR81110 When does a ‘reasonable excuse’ end?
CISR81120 ‘Reasonable care’