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How to Use the SA370 Form to Appeal Against Late Filing Penalties

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Missing a tax filing date is something that you want to avoid. However sometimes there’s factors and obstacles out of your control that disrupt and prevent you from filing on time. 

Late invoices/proof-of-purchase, delayed payments or any one of the mountain of essential documents that always seem to mysteriously vanish at the last minute.

Not to mention everyday distractions like the kids’ sports-day or taking the dog to the vet.

Unfortunately filing a tax return or making a tax payment late results in being slapped with an immediate £100 penalty from HMRC. Which rises the longer your return remains unfiled/your payment remains unpaid.

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What is the SA370 form?

Fortunately however, if you have a reasonable and legitimate reason for missing the filing date, HMRC will give you the chance to appeal the fine.  

That’s where the SA370 form comes in, you can use it to appeal the fine. Out of the vast number of HMRC tax forms, the SA370 IS probably one of the most useful .

We’ll explain how to use and complete the SA370 in a moment.

But before we do, here’s a breakdown of the HMRC late filing and late payment penalties, to help you appreciate the value of this form : )

Penalties for Delayed Tax Filings with HMRC

Degree of Lateness Fine
Up to 3 months late: A one-time penalty of £100.
From 3 to 6 months late: Daily charge of £10.
From 6 to 12 months late: Either a £300 penalty or 5% of the due tax amount, whichever is higher.
More than 12 months late: An additional charge of either £300 or 5% of the unpaid tax, depending on which is larger.

Penalty Schedule for Overdue Tax Payments with HMRC

Degree of Lateness Penalty
Up to 30 days late: No penalty.
From 31 days to 6 months late: 5% of the outstanding tax amount.
From 6 to 12 months late: An additional 5% on the due tax.
More than 12 months late: A further 5% penalty on the unpaid tax.

How to Complete Form SA370

Completing the SA370 form is a straightforward process, but it requires attention to detail to ensure your appeal is considered valid. Here's a step-by-step guide:

SA370 Form

  • Personal Details: Start by filling in your personal information, including your full name, address, and tax reference number.
  • Reason for Late Filing/Payment: Clearly state the reason for your delay. This should be a valid, genuine reason. Be specific and provide any relevant dates and details.
  • Supporting Evidence: Attach any evidence that supports your claim. This could be medical records, a letter from an employer, or proof of unforeseen circumstances.
  • Declaration: Ensure you read the declaration section thoroughly before signing and dating the form.

Remember, the key is to be honest and provide as much detail as possible to substantiate your claim.

How to Submit Form SA370

Appeals should be made within 30 days after receiving notification of a fine/penalty. Submitting your completed SA370 form can be done either by post or online, depending on your preference:

  • By Post: Send the completed form along with any supporting documents to the address provided by HMRC. Make sure to use a secure and traceable mailing service.
  • Online: If you are registered for HMRC online services, you can submit your form electronically. This method is faster and allows for easier tracking of your submission.

What Happens Next? HMRC’s Response

Once HMRC receives your SA370 form, they will review your appeal. This process can take several weeks. HMRC will consider:

  • The Validity of Your Reason: Is the reason for your delay something genuinely out of your control?
  • Timeliness of Your Appeal: Did you file the appeal within a reasonable time after the deadline?

HMRC will notify you of their decision by mail. If your appeal is accepted, the penalties will be waived. 

However, if your appeal is denied, you will be expected to pay the fines. In some cases, you might be able to request a further review if you believe the decision is unfair.

A life-line for lateness

Filing taxes can sometimes be overwhelming, and missing a deadline can happen to the best of us. The SA370 form is a lifeline in such situations, allowing you to explain your circumstances and potentially avoid hefty fines. 

Remember, it's crucial to stay proactive, provide detailed information, and respond promptly to any HMRC correspondence following your appeal. With the right approach, you can navigate through this with minimal stress.

One affordable and simple solution to eliminate any chance of a missed filing is to use Crunch’s Self Assessment service. Our expert accountants will handle and submit your tax return for your, keeping it totally error free and saving you all the boring paperwork.

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James Waller
Content Specialist
Updated on
November 29, 2023

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