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HMRC internal manual

Excise Civil Penalties Manual

Reviews and appeals: Reasonable excuse legal provisions

The provisions for reasonable excuse are contained in Section 10 of the Finance Act 1994. There is no legal definition of what constitutes a reasonable excuse, and what may be acceptable for one trader may not be satisfactory for another.

The law provides that

  • lack of funds to pay any duty due, and
  • delay and / or inaccuracy by any person relied on to perform any task

are not reasonable excuses.