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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Appeals and reviews: end of year penalty appeals: unacceptable excuse

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

  • Reliance on a dilatory or inefficient agent
  • Ignorance of the law

Remember that warnings of the potential penalties are sent with the employer’s annual pack and that reminders are sent to all employers if the employer’s annual return has not been received about the end of April.

  • The person responsible for completing the employer’s annual return is too busy with other duties (apart from emergencies)
  • There is no PAYE or NIC unpaid

The PAYE and NIC should be paid by 19 April following the year of assessment, but completion of the employer’s annual return is a separate matter, and the return is needed to enable employees’ tax affairs to be kept up to date and check that all amounts of PAYE and NIC have been remitted.

  • The information needed to complete the employers annual return was not available or was too complicated or extensive to complete on time

PAYE should have been kept up to date during the year and arrangements made for the completion of the employer’s annual return.

  • The employer’s annual return has been submitted on a photocopy of an official form P35, but the signature is also photocopied