Following a request from the Working Together E-Group, HMRC have clarified the status of paper returns where it has been accepted that a reasonable excuse exists for submitting the return after 31 October 2008 yet by 31 January 2009. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have confirmed to us that:
"Where we accept that issues with the online filing system precluded online filing and that there is a reasonable excuse for late of filing a paper return, the paper return will be treated (under s118(2) TMA 1970), and recorded, as on time for any of the purposes of TMA. This means that no penalty will be charged (or the penalty will be cancelled if already issued) and the enquiry window will not be extended."
The form to claim reasonable excuse for a later paper return, because you have been unable to file online, usually on account of software problems, is available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/carter/sa-reasonableexcuse.pdf
We understand from HMRC that the filing success rate for most software is steadily increasing. However, any members who continue to have problems with online filing are invited to send details, including any EARS reference from the Online Services Helpdesk, to the CIOT at email@example.com with ‘Online filing - FAO Tina Riches’ in the subject line.
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