Why should I appeal an HMRC tax penalty?
If you think HMRC has sent a penalty incorrectly then you should gather evidence to strengthen your appeal, and get the penalty removed.
Remember, you can always send an appeal if any of the following apply:
- your partner or another close relative died shortly before the tax deadline
- you had a serious or life-threatening illness
- delays related to a disability
- fire, flood, theft, postal strikes, issues with HMRC’s site, or other circumstances out of your control
- coronavirus (COVID-19) exceptions
Send a subject access request to see all of the information they used in their decision to give you a tax penalty, and challenge it.
A Subject Access Request, or ‘SAR’ is a written request that you send to a company asking to see your personal data.
What personal data might I get back from HMRC?
You’ll get information including:
- personal details
- employers names
- tax payments
- details of benefits claimed
- National Insurance payments
If you discover that any of the information the HMRC is working with is wrong, you can use it as evidence to support your appeal.Remember, a request doesn't count as an appeal, but it's a great tool to support it.
If you need support with this, our team is here to help!
How do I send a subject access request (SAR)?
The easiest way to find out where your information is by sending a request through Rightly.
- Press 'Get Started' above
- Enter your basic details so that HMRC can identify you
- Check your email to send your request
How long until they respond to my request?
After HMRC have received your request, they have to reply in full within 30 days, or give a valid reason for asking for an extension. If this happens, contact our support team.
What if they don't reply to my request?
Don't worry - by law they have to reply. This is because the information they used to make their penalty decision counts as your personal data, and you can ask any organisation if they have your personal data, including HMRC.
They have to tell you what they have, as well as how and why they are using it. This is thanks to your ‘right of access’ under GDPR law. GDPR applies in the UK and EU.
How can I appeal with my evidence?
If you’ve been sent a penalty by post, it should have an appeal form attached. You can use either this form or HMRC’s online service to appeal.
You’ll need to know:
- The date your penalty was issued (this is normally on the penalty notice you were sent)
- The date you filed your Self Assessment
- The reason you’re appealing
How to appeal to HMRC without an appeal form
If you haven’t been sent an appeal form, you can consider sending a signed letter to HMRC instead.
You should make sure to include:
- Your name
- Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) or VAT registration number
- Why you’re appealing to HMRC
How long do I have to appeal to HMRC?
You have 30 days from the date of your penalty to appeal.
COVID-19 change: If you’ve been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), HMRC will give you an extra 3 months to appeal any penalties issued from February 2020 or later.
We’re free because our mission is to make data fairer, for everyone.
This means that our services operate on a not-for-profit basis. It also means that there are no adverts or hidden costs, and that we’ll never, ever sell your data.
Still have questions?
We'd love to help.