HMRC has announced that tax agents and accountants will be able to send bulk appeals against late filing penalties for tax returns filed after 28 February, if the reason for late filing is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This comes after HMRC said that penalty notice would not be issued to anyone who was unable to file their 2019/20 self assessment tax return by 31 January, given that it was completed by 28 February 2021.

HMRC recognises that some individuals, businesses and agents have experienced difficulties in meeting filing deadlines due to the impact of the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, HMRC may accept COVID-19 as a reasonable excuse for any appeals made against a penalty for late payment by self assessment taxpayers.

HMRC is implementing a new system to enable agents to submit bulk appeals for late filing penalties, making the process much more efficient. This is however only for individuals and businesses who could not file their self assessment tax returns due to COVID-19.

The new process will be available from 24 March for a period of six months.

“This new system will make appealing any penalties much easier. HMRC seems to understand the struggles that individuals and businesses are facing and are trying to make the process easier.”

Nigel Holland