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Tax agents and accountants will be able to send bulk appeals against late filing penalties for tax returns filed after 28 February due to COVID-19, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed.

HMRC has previously announced that late filing penalty notices won’t be issued to anyone who was unable to file their 2020/21 Self Assessment tax return by 31 January, provided it was completed by the end of February.

The department recognises the pressure faced this year means that some individuals, businesses and their agents have experienced difficulties in meeting their filing obligations. As a result, COVID-19 may be accepted as a reasonable excuse for any appeals made against a late filing penalty for Self Assessment customers.

Agents representing individuals and businesses who have not been able to file by 28 February due to COVID-19 will be able to complete a bulk appeals form. The process will be available for appeals made against 2020/21 late filing penalties for Self Assessment customers, between 9 March and 6 May.

Agents can use the bulk appeals process, which will be available on GOV.UK, to record details of their clients’ appeals. Once completed, the form should be posted to the following address: Bulk Agent Appeals, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1ZH.

In order for the bulk appeals to be processed correctly, agents are required to do the following:

• each bulk appeals form can only be used for a maximum of 25 clients. Further forms can be submitted for additional clients
• bulk appeals forms must be sent to HMRC using the above address and if multiple forms are completed, these should be sent in separate envelopes
• all fields on the form should be completed for each client – without this, HMRC will not process the appeal for that client
• this form must only be used where the tax return was not filed by 28 February 2022 due to COVID-19. If the penalty is subject to appeal on other grounds, please use existing channels

Individual appeals can still be completed via GOV.UK or by post – the postal route is for bulk appeals only. Appeals on behalf of one client should be filed using the SA370 or filed online. Appeals for a High Net Worth Unit case should be submitted via GOV.UK and should not be included on the bulk appeals form.

This service is only for a COVID-19 related reasonable excuse. HMRC reserves the right to carry out random checks to ensure the validity of the data or to seek further clarification as to the exact nature of the COVID-19 related reasonable excuse.

The bulk appeals facility is not available for 2020/21 Self Assessment late payment penalties, nor any other penalties.

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