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has anyone successfully appealed a fine from HRMC?

(10 Posts)
pginthecloset Tue 07-Apr-09 14:50:14

DH has been sent a late filing penalty of £100 for subcontractor returns.

He has a strong case and it's the usual case of one department not knowing what's going on in the other. There was also to some degree a lack of knowledge of procedure on our part (although we did ask for advice)rather than deliberate avoidance of paperwork.

How easily do they let these things go on appeal, or do we have a lengthy fight on our hands?

pginthecloset Tue 07-Apr-09 17:22:27


BrownSuga Tue 07-Apr-09 17:26:12

bumping and watching, we've sent a cheque in which has been cashed but not applied to our account and have now late charges and threatening letter.

Niecie Tue 07-Apr-09 17:28:16

I don't think you stand much chance unfortunately. Ignorance of the law is no defence and all that.

I suppose you might have a case if you can prove you asked for advice and got none or at least the wrong advice. Otherwise I think you might have to swallow it.

How late was the return? Sometimes they might give you a few days leeway for weekends and that sort of thing.

Have you had a look at HMRC's website and the appeals procedure?

pginthecloset Tue 07-Apr-09 19:24:09

Thanks. I really hope that's not the case niecie sad

In brief the situation is as follows. DH was a self employed builder up until Aug 08. During that time we filed monthly returns for any subcontractors he used (always promptly).

DH stopped being self employed and took a job in sept 08. On his last return he ticked a box saying he would not be using any subcontractors/filing returns for the next 6 months. We also wrote to HMRC informing them that he was now an employee and asking if there was anything further he needed to do regarding his change in status.

Then yesterday we received a £100 penalty for non filing of a subcontractor return shock. It was completely out of the blue. We were not given any notice that we would have to start refiling returns after the 6 months, and as he is no longer using subcontractors would not have even thought to do so.

I hope they accept our appeal - we cannot afford to throw 100 quid away on government bureaucratic crap angry

MrVibrating Tue 07-Apr-09 22:20:25

If you told them that you would no longer be using subcontractors they should not be expecting any more returns from you.

Did they send you a return? If not, they should not have fined you for not completing it. If they did and you ignored it, you are going to have more of a battle on your hands. Call the CIS helpline and explain the situation.

Niecie Tue 07-Apr-09 22:52:34

pginthecloset - after your last post I asked DH about your chances of an appeal and he says they are pretty good. He is an accountant although he says he has very few clients who have subbies so he doesn't get involved in these returns very often and isn't that up to speed on it all.

However, you informed the revenue that your DH was no longer self-employed so the fact you might have ticked the wrong box by mistake shouldn't matter. I suppose a computer picked up the tick, noticed there was no return and then issued the notice.

Get in contact with them and have a word.

He also says you don't fill in paper returns any more so you wouldn't have got one to trigger the question about why they thought you needed on in the first place iyswim.

So I take it all back. I reckon you have a decent chance of getting off this.

Good luck!

wwwdotconfuseddotcom Thu 09-Apr-09 10:45:54

I think you have a good chance of avoiding the fine.

I appealed against a £400 late submission penalty for our employers annual return which I had sent but apparently they hadn't received (the fine was £100 per month it was outstanding, but they waited four months to tell us about it!)

I just wrote a pleasant letter explaining that I didn't think it was reasonable for them to charge such a high amount to a small business (two staff) as they would be basically taking nearly a month's salary out of my pocket (I work part time). I thought they would reduce the fee but they waived the whole amount. I think they are being more sympathetic in the current financial climate.

Give it a go - it sounds like you're in the right and what have you got to lose by trying?

littlesunshine Sun 07-Jun-09 13:13:09

It can take a while but if you stand your gound and make clear in full what the situation was and can produce copies of forms/letters sent to HMRC you should have a good chance.
Usually if you write in stating you are appealing, it will be looked into further if you do not agree with the decision they have come to you can appeal further.
Either way as long as you made it clear in the return and the subsequent letter of your DH's position they should have halted the penalty before it went out, chances are its an automatic response from the computer system and talking with the responsible office will get it resolved. Good Luck.

MrsMattie Sun 07-Jun-09 13:16:40

Yep. I appealed. Took ages (about 4 months I think) to have it overturned, and in the meantime, they fined me a second time for failure to pay the original fine! I got off both, though.

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