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HMRC internal manual

Excise Civil Penalties Manual

General principles: Reasonable excuse

Most excise civil penalties are subject to the reasonable excuse provision contained in Section 10 of the Finance Act 1994.

Where a person has a reasonable excuse for the conduct which caused the breach, for example, short term illness or sudden death of personnel with key roles relating to the breach, or computer failure at a critical time, there is no liability to a penalty.

Guidance on reasonable excuse can be found at ECP8000.