5. Reasonable excuse

You can ask us to review some penalties or appeal to the tribunal if you think that you have a reasonable excuse. This applies to penalties for failure to:

  • make a tax return on time
  • pay a tax return on time
  • keep and preserve records
  • comply with, or an obstruction of, the WRA

You can also ask us to review Landfill Disposals Tax registration penalties.

What may count as a reasonable excuse

A reasonable excuse is something that stopped you meeting a tax obligation or time period, that you took reasonable care to meet. For example:

  • your partner or another close relative died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline
  • you had a serious or life-threatening illness
  • you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs
  • you lose records through fire, flood or theft

For more information on what we may consider and will not count as a reasonable excuse, see technical guidance on reasonable excuses.