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HMRC internal manual

VAT Civil Penalties

HM Revenue & Customs
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Default Surcharge: Reviews and appeals: Illness or loss of key personnel information letter



You asked for the decision [give brief details] sent you on [date] to be reviewed. Your case has been passed to me to carry out the review.

If a reasonable excuse for late payment is established the default(s)/surcharge assessment(s) will be withdrawn. To support an appeal on the grounds of illness/loss of key personnel* you will need to provide as much relevant information as possible. The following are examples of the type of evidence that may support your appeal

  • Details of the role of the person concerned and reasons for their failure.
  • How their absence affected the timely submission of VAT returns and payments.
  • Nature and period of illness loss of key personnel*.
  • Details of any alternative arrangements made in an attempt to overcome the problem, and
  • Any other information which you feel is relevant to the appeal.

Please remember that your claim of reasonable excuse will not necessarily be accepted just because you have provided the information requested in this letter. Any decision to accept reasonable excuse will be based on all the circumstances of your individual case.

If you are in doubt as to what evidence should be supplied or you have any other queries about the appeal please do not hesitate to contact me at the above address.

If you have any further information that you want me to take into account as part of my review please send it to me straight away.

I expect to complete the review by [date] (this should be within 45 days of the date HMRC received the review request). When I have completed my review I will write to you with my conclusions.

If I cannot complete the review by [date] I will get in touch with you.

If you want to discuss the matter you can write to me at the above address or phone me on the above number.

You can find further information on reviews on the HMRC website.

  • Delete as appropriate.