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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Appeals, postponements and reviews: objections

From February 2014, the process for dealing with appeals against the first late filing penalty was revised to allow for call handlers to consider information provided over the phone. From this date, in certain circumstances, the call handler can consider the appeal as an ‘objection’ and, where the conditions are met, cancel the penalty without the customer having to make a formal appeal in writing. This applies only to CY-1 and when the customer has submitted their return.

The appeal can be classified as an objection only in the following circumstances:

  • Where the objection relates to the first late filing penalty only and no late filing penalties were charged for the previous tax year
  • The circumstances preventing the return being filed on, or before, the filing date included

    • The customers own ill health. For example stroke, cancer, heart attack hospitalisation
    • A dependant’s ill health or death. Note: A dependant is classed as a civil partner, spouse, parent, children or someone for whom the customer has/had caring responsibilities
    • An event took place which was outside of the customer’s control. For example, fire, flood or burglary

(Further information is available in the Customer Advice Guide under ‘Self assessment’, Penalties, surcharges and appeals’).

  • The customer made contact before the filing date (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) to apply for a password or activation code, or duplicate details, but did not receive it in time to file before the filing date and the return has now been filed

This treatment excludes appeals against late payment penalties, second late filing penalties and penalties charged in the following circumstances:

  • Partnership cases
  • Military personnel
  • Bankruptcy cases
  • Deceased cases
  • Special Personal Tax cases

Further information is available in the guidance for Contact Centre call handlers.