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  • Tax - VAT surcharge reasonable excuse letter
    Reasonable excuse letterHMRC has a wide range of penalties available to it. Many of these can be reduced while others can be removed completely where you have a reasonable excuse for the action which gave rise to the penalty. Having a reasonable excuseMost of the penalties imposed by HMRC will be cancelled in full if the taxpayer can establish a "reasonable excuse" defence. Unhelpfully though, there is no definition of "reasonable excuse". This argument now applies to: failure to notify liability; and default...
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  • Tax - Request for HMRC VAT internal review letter
    Request for HMRC VAT internal review letterHMRC operates a VAT internal review system to resolve disputes without the time or expenses involved with a formal appeal. If you wish to use this facility you should apply in writing to HMRC within 30 days of the assessment or decision with which you disagree. Asking for a reviewIf you disagree with HMRC over an assessment, you can ask for an internal review of the decision or you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (FTT). HMRC advises that in the first instance...
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  • Tax - Complaint letter
    Complaint letterUltimately, the Adjudicator's Office handles all complaints about HMRC. However, the adjudicator will only examine a complaint if it has been through the proper levels of authority within HMRC first. It's the same letter but to different people. So what should you put in this particular piece of correspondence?Set out your grievanceIf you feel you have been unfairly treated by HMRC, for example unreasonable delays, mistakes or poorly treated by staff, the avenues of complaint are to: (1) an HMRC...
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  • Tax - Appeal and postponement of direct tax
    Appeal and postponement of direct taxThis standard letter can be used to make an appeal against any direct tax assessment, e.g. income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax etc., but not VAT, customs or other duties.How to use itThe time limit for submitting an appeal is 30 days from the date on the assessment or determination issued by HMRC.  The letter should be sent direct to the issuing tax office or, if different, to the office that you usually communicate with in relation to the type of tax assessed.The...
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  • Tax - VAT appeal letter
    VAT appeal letterIf you disagree with a VAT assessment or decision made by HMRC, you can, in most cases, appeal against it or ask for HMRC for a review to consider cancelling the appeal. An appeal should always be made in writing and usually within 30 days of the date of the assessment or decision.Resolving disagreementsFirst step - optional. If you disagree with HMRC over a VAT assessment, a penalty imposed or a ruling or decision you can ask for an Internal Review before making a formal appeal to the First-tier...
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  • Tax - Letter to HMRC - problems with online filing
    Letter to HMRC  - problems with online filingIf you've missed the deadline for submitting your VAT return online (or paying your VAT electronically), you might be let off the hook where you can show this was caused by IT problems.Explain whyIf you were unable to file your VAT return online because of problems with HMRC's VAT Online Service, you should write to HMRC explaining why. Enclose any evidence of the steps you took.   The sort of evidence that counts in your favour includes:o a copy of the printout...
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  • Tax - Compensation claim letter
    Compensation claim letterChances are that sometime in your dealings with HMRC he will make an error or be responsible for a delay that costs you money. In these circumstances you can you claim compensation for this.Making a complaintLet's say HMRC comes to call and later issues you with a VAT assessment. You feel that it's wrong and obtain professional advice. The advisor agrees that the assessment is incorrect. The advisor asks for an internal review of the assessment. HMRC sees the error of its ways and withdraws...
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