12 May 2020
HMRC has granted taxpayers extra time to appeal its decisions or penalties where the usual 30-day deadline cannot be met due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision means that taxpayers who have received tax decisions, including penalty assessments, from HMRC since the beginning of February 2020 now have an extra three months to appeal them, if they or their business were negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was also taken due to potential practical issues due to the lockdown. For example, some businesses and accountants will not have been able to collect their post and will therefore miss risking deadlines in circumstances where HMRC only corresponds by post.
HMRC has also confirmed that coronavirus is an acceptable excuse for any missed payments or tax-filing deadlines. However, taxpayers will need to outline how coronavirus impaired their ability to meet HMRC deadlines.
Where the 30-day deadline to appeal a decision or penalty is missed, HMRC requests that taxpayers submit their appeals as soon as possible and explain that the delay is because of coronavirus.
Similarly, HMRC will not object to taxpayers asking a tribunal to hear their appeal outside of the normal 30-day deadline where the decision is dated February 2020 or later, provided that the request to the tribunal is made within three months of the normal deadline.