Covid-19: Taxman extends appeals deadline

Taxpayers may be given an additional three months to appeal HMRC decisions or penalties if the usual 30-day deadline cannot be met because of the coronavirus crisis.

HMRC has announced it will accept delayed appeals against decisions or penalties dated as far back as February this year where the delay is down to the impact of Covid-19.

Businesses and individuals that have the right to appeal a decision are informed in writing and usually have 30 days to do so.

However, in new guidance, the taxman says: “If you or your business have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), HMRC will give you an extra three months to appeal any decision dated February 2020 or later. Send your appeal as soon as you can, and explain the delay is because of coronavirus.”

You must include:

• your name or business name
• your tax reference number (this will be on the decision letter)
• what you disagree with and why
• what you think the correct figures are and how you’ve calculated them
• your signature

You should also tell HMRC if you have any extra information or if you think it has missed something.

If you want to appeal a decision about ‘indirect tax’ – for example VAT, excise duty or customs duty – you can request a review by HMRC or appeal straight to the tax tribunal.

HMRC also says it will not object to taxpayers asking a tribunal to hear their appeal outside of the normal 30-day deadline where the decision is dated February 2020 or later – provided that the request to the tribunal is made within three months of the normal deadline.

The announcement comes after the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) highlighted difficulties taxpayers were having in meeting the 30-day deadline during the crisis.