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When penalties are remitted

Remission of penalties means the penalties are legally waived and are no longer payable. The tax laws do allow us to remit penalties in some very limited circumstances. There are two grounds for remission.

Reasonable cause

We may remit a penalty if the reason for late filing, non-electronic filing or late payment was beyond your control. This means that it must be "reasonable" for an average person in the same position not to have complied. The term reasonable must be applied to the event or circumstance.

Collecting the highest net revenue

We are required by law to collect, over time, as much revenue as possible, ideally through voluntary compliance by all taxpayers. In some circumstances remission of penalties will be part of this legal duty, for example, where a penalty is charged because of:

  • a genuine error
  • a "one-off" situation, or
  • incorrect advice from us that directly resulted in the non-compliance.

Applying for remission

You can apply for remission in writing or by calling us. We'll consider your application when your return has been filed and/or the tax has been paid. You must state the reasons for the late payment or filing, and provide any information we need to consider your request.

Find out how to contact us