Tax Credits (“Late Appeals”) Order up for review

The Tax Credits Order 2014 is draft legislation currently up for review in parliament. In a nutshell, it’s an amendment concerning when HMRC should accept a late tax submission appeal as being on time.  

When it comes to tax credits, you have the right to appeal if you’re unhappy with a decision made by HMRC’s Tax Credit Office.

At present, you have to appeal within 30 days from when the office sent you their decision.

The proposed amendment seeks to provide an allowance for late submissions under special circumstances. Here’s the gist of what the proposal has to say:

  • An appeal should be considered “on time” if the commissioners are satisfied that special circumstances exist. These circumstances include:
    – The appellant (or a partner/dependant of the appellant) dying or suffering from serious illness
    – The appellant not residing in the UK
    – Normal postal service being disrupted.
  • The special circumstances are not a ‘get out of jail free’ card though. The more time that passes between the end of the appeal period and the submission of the notice of appeal, the more compelling these special circumstances need to be.
  • Also, if the appellant (or any person acting for the appellant) isn’t aware of the law or misunderstands the time limit, it still won’t be reason enough for submitting late.

1st Contact will keep you up to date once the outcome of the appeal is known.

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