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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

P11D processing: P11D(b) penalty appeals: reasonable excuse

The following examples are a guide to, but not an exhaustive list, of circumstances, which might amount to a reasonable excuse

  • The employer is a sole trader, or director of a ‘one man’ company, and has suffered a sudden and serious illness between the end of the tax year and the filing date, or has been affected by a prolonged and serious illness throughout the period
  • Unavoidable and unexpected absence close to the filing date because of business commitments or domestic emergencies
  • Accidental destruction of the records through fire or flood
  • Exceptional postal delays because of a strike by postal workers
  • Although the employers form P11D(b) has not been received by HMRC, the employer claims nevertheless to have posted it in good time

    • Unless there is evidence to the contrary, such a claim should be accepted on the first occasion that it is made, provided that a further form P11D(b) is then submitted promptly. In any subsequent year the employer should be required to substantiate such a claim by evidence of posting of some kind
  • Sudden disruption to a business or its records by a break in
  • Installation of a new computer system or program for the payroll which has hit unexpected teething problems
  • Although the employer’s form P11D(b) is a photocopy, it is a photocopy of an official P11D(b) form which bears a ‘wet signature’ (a signature in ink)