If you think an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) decision about your Self Assessment tax return, payment or penalty is wrong, you may have the right to appeal. You can also authorise a professional adviser to appeal on your behalf.
On this page:
HMRC will write to you with their decision about your Self Assessment tax return or payment. They will always make it clear if you have the right of appeal.
For example you have the right of appeal against a penalty for:
Other examples of Self Assessment decisions you can appeal against include
HMRC will always send you information about how and when to appeal when they tell you about their decision.
You need to make your appeal to HMRC in writing. If you've received a penalty notice you should use the appeal form, if one was attached. Otherwise you can send a letter. You must appeal within 30 days of the date of the penalty notice or HMRC decision.
You'll need to explain why you're making the appeal. For example, you may think you:
You can find out more about 'reasonable excuse' below.
Usually the person who has received the penalty, or their authorised
tax adviser, should make the appeal,
For business partnerships, each partner may have received a penalty, for example if the Partnership Tax Return was sent late. In this case, the nominated partner must make the appeal on behalf of the partnership and other partners.
Sometimes you may think you have a reasonable excuse for sending a tax return or a payment late. For example, there may have been an unexpected or unusual event, beyond your control that prevented you from meeting the deadline. In this case you must still send your return or payment as soon as you can. HMRC usually expects to receive it within 14 days of the problem ending.
There are no hard and fast rules, but some examples where HMRC may agree you have a reasonable excuse, if they prevented you from sending your return on time are:
HMRC will not usually accept you have a reasonable excuse if:
If you miss a deadline and believe you have a reasonable excuse, you should write and tell HMRC as soon as possible. Don't wait until HMRC writes to you to tell you about the penalty, tax assessment or other decision. HMRC will look carefully at the information you provide and any other available evidence.
You can tell HMRC about your reasonable excuse by completing and returning a claim form, an appeal form (see the links below) or by sending a letter to your HMRC office. You'll find the address on your Self Assessment statements. If you're sending a letter, you should provide:
In most cases you'll be able to reach an agreement with HMRC and settle your appeal. But if not, you can:
If you decide to authorise an adviser or accountant, they’ll deal with your tax affairs for you. They’ll send in your tax return and handle appeals on your behalf.