HMRC is still required to obtain certain returns from you even if there is no income or tax to declare. Failure to submit will likely trigger late filing penalties and unfortunately, pleading ignorance of your obligations to file “nil” returns is not a reasonable excuse.
Which begs the question, what is a reasonable excuse?
HMRC had published what may, and what will not, be considered excusable. They say:
A reasonable excuse is something that stopped you meeting a tax obligation that you took reasonable care to meet, for example:
You must send your return or payment as soon as possible after your reasonable excuse is resolved.
What won’t count as a reasonable excuse are situations where:
Often, failure to file is not a deliberate act. Unfortunately, appealing against what you consider to be an unreasonable stance by HMRC is not that simple, and ignoring the issue is not the way to go.
If you find yourself in dispute with HMRC on a late filing challenge, we can help. Please call us so we can discuss your options.