Company wins appeal against fine for late Annual Return
A company has won its appeal against a £400 fine for late submission of its Employer Annual Return.
The directors said they had made genuine attempts to submit their form but had not been able to do so because they didn’t receive an online activation code from the Revenue & Customs commissioners.
The company first tried to submit the form online in May 2011 and then waited for the activation code to be delivered by post. However, the activation code didn’t arrive so it was impossible to complete the submission.
The directors tried again in August 2011 but again they didn’t receive their activation code. Eventually, in February 2012, they sent a paper return in the post along with a cheque for the payment and a letter expressing concern that the process was incomplete.
The payment was made and the commissioners acknowledged that the company had made three attempts to submit the return. However, they said that the activation codes would have been sent out in the post and issued the company with a £400 fine for late submission.
The company appealed and the First-tier Tribunal has now ruled in its favour. It held that there was no evidence to support the commissioners’ claim that the activation codes had been sent. While the company could be criticised for taking so long between submissions, it had made genuine attempts to complete the process and had a reasonable excuse for the late submission.
Please contact Mark Pelopida if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article