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How to Challenge a VAT penalty

Newsletter issue - February 2011.

If you receive a VAT penalty, perhaps because you have submitted your VAT return late, the Taxman should offer an independent review of the penalty.

You should certainly take up this offer of a review, as this may be the first time that a human (rather than a computer) has looked at the circumstances under which the penalty was imposed. You should reply in writing to the Taxman accepting (or in rare cases rejecting), the offer of the review within 30 days of the date of the penalty notice. Don't delay, as the penalty notice may have been sitting in the Taxman's post area for weeks before it reaches you.

Where you believe the penalty is not due, because you have a reasonable excuse for submitting your form late (or whatever was the cause of the penalty), set out your reasons in the letter that accompanies the acceptance of the review. When the review department within the Tax Office looks at your case you have a chance of having the VAT penalty overturned. We can help you set out your reasons to the Tax Office.