Taxation logo taxation mission text

Since 1927 the leading authority on tax law, practice and administration

What’s your excuse?

Reasoning that works before tax tribunals


  • Lack of a statutory definition of reasonable excuse.
  • Underlying cause of lack of funds.
  • Nature of reliance on an accountant.
  • Online filing and test submissions.

My dog ate my tax return/tax demand doesn’t really wash when it comes to reasonable excuse. But that does not mean that no other excuse will work.

Taxation reports many cases that come before the First-tier Tribunal where the taxpayer has missed a deadline pleads reasonable excuse and has his appeal accepted. 

There is no statutory definition of what constitutes a reasonable excuse. SA reasonable excuse below shows extracts from HMRC’s website of what they consider to be reasonable excuse for self-assessment purposes.


According to HMRC’s...

If you or your firm subscribes to, please click the login box below:

If you are not a subscriber but are a registered user or have a free trial, please enter your details in the following boxes:

Alternatively, you can register free of charge to read a limited amount of subscriber content per month.
Once you have registered, you will receive an email directing you back to read this item in full.

Please reach out to customer services at +44 (0) 330 161 1234 or '' for further assistance.

back to top icon