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HMRC have updated their guidance on what constitutes a 'reasonable excuse' when appealing against a penalty, to confirm they will accept COVID-19 as a reasonable excuse if a taxpayer misses a payment or filing deadline.

In such cases the taxpayer must explain to HMRC how they were affected by COVID-19 in their appeal and the return, or payment must still be made as soon as possible. In addition, specific guidance has been published confirming that COVID-19 is a reasonable excuse for late filing in relation to country by country reporting, DAC 6 and Common Reporting Standard/Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) reports.