This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Senior Accounting Officer Guidance

Reasonable excuse: what is not a reasonable excuse

While the Customer Compliance Manager (CCM), Mid-sized Business Customer Engagement Team (CET) or Caseworker must consider all relevant circumstances, there are some situations which we will not normally accept alone as a reasonable excuse

  • Pressure of work.
  • Lack of information.
  • HMRC did not remind me.
  • Ignorance of basic law.

What is or is not a reasonable excuse is personal to the individual’s abilities and circumstances. Those abilities and circumstances may mean that what is a reasonable excuse for one person may not be a reasonable excuse for another.

The law specifies two situations that are not reasonable excuses. These are

  • shortage of funds, see SAOG20600 for more detail and an exception, and
  • reliance on another person, see SAOG20700 for more detail and an exception.

FA09/SCH46/PARA8 (2)(a) & (b)