What is a ‘reasonable excuse’ for my late tax return?
It goes without saying that meeting the tax deadline is important, and you should do everything you can to file your taxes before 31st January. If you fail to meet this deadline then HMRC will penalise you, unless you have a ‘reasonable…
5 Minute Read
It goes without saying that meeting the tax deadline is important, and you should do everything you can to file your taxes before 31st January. If you fail to meet this deadline then HMRC will penalise you, unless you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. Understandably, HMRC won’t accept any excuse; the taxman is unlikely to accept ‘I forgot to do it’ or ‘I didn’t know when the tax deadline was.’
Firstly, let’s start with some examples of reasonable excuses. If an unusual event beyond your control prevents you from filing your tax return, this counts as a ‘reasonable excuse.’ For example:
- HMRC online failure
- a faulty laptop
- serious illnesses, disability and/or serious mental health conditions which prevent you from filing your tax return
- registering with HMRC in time but not receiving your activation code.
These are just a few examples, but if you think you have a reasonable excuse for filing a late tax return, you should contact HMRC as soon as possible.
As you would expect, HMRC will not accept a claim if you have an unreasonable excuse for missing the deadline. Here are a few unreasonable excuses:
- I found the whole process too confusing,
- I thought my accountant was doing it,
- I registered with HMRC too late.
If you think you have a valid and reasonable excuse for late submission, then you should contact HMRC as soon as possible. You will need to fill in a reasonable excuse claim form, available to download here.
Access SimpleTax and discover a new free way of filing your return (HMRC approved), know what expenses will help you lower your tax bill and keep all your records online, safe & sound. Ready to file with one click! Free means free. No hidden costs.
Trusted by over 10,000 subscribers
You don't need to be an expert to complete your self assessment tax return.
Managing your finances has never been so easy.
Start you self assessment tax return today for free.Get Started
45 allowable expenses you can claim when you’re a sole trader
13 Sep 2021
What vehicle, travel, hotel and meal expenses can you claim when you’re self-employed?
06 Sep 2021
The tax implications of becoming an accidental landlord
01 Sep 2021
How GoSimpleTax Works
Simply register for free with your full name and email address.
Select Your Income
Select the income you receive and follow the hints and tips for potential tax savings.
Validate Your Information
Validate your personal information and submit directly to HMRC to get confirmation in just seconds.
Work Anywhere, With Any Device
Gone are the days of fretting over a calculator surrounded by scraps of paper at the eleventh hour.
GoSimpleTax’s tax return software uses the information you upload in real time to calculate your income and expenditure, working out the tax you owe and sending you helpful notifications when there’s the possibility of a mistake.
"The software is intuitive and proved very easy to navigate. I found the whole process refreshingly simple. I saved a lot of money too!"
"Easy to use and value for money. Everything you need to do your tax."
"It fills in all the forms and sends them to the Inland Revenue. Not expensive either. Takes the stress out of doing your tax return online."