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

HMRC internal manual

VAT Civil Penalties

Belated Notification Penalty: Reasonable excuse: Reliance on a third party

Please see the Compliance Handbook CH70000 for more details about the new failure to notify penalty.

Reliance on a third party is specifically excluded as a reasonable excuse in the VAT Act 1994, Section 71

This has been confirmed in several tribunal cases. The third party is usually an accountant but can be any person. Reliance on the third party to perform a task or any slowness or inaccuracy on the part of the third party cannot be accepted as reasonable excuse

However, in circumstances where the third party becomes ill and cannot perform their duties at the proper time, reasonable excuse may be allowable for a limited period, see VCP10436.