HMRC have , without a doubt, over the last few years been less and less concerned about making sure taxpayers have done the right thing at the right time because if the taxpayer didn't bother there were ample opportunities for HMRC to charge penalties.
In my opinion most of the penalties bear little relation to the "offence". Fining someone £1300 for not submitting a tax return on time seems excessive when the tax liability could well be far less than the penalty itself.
I'm seeing more and more of these penalties. Not from existing clients I should add!
In most cases it's a new client who has "learned their lesson" and wants to make sure it never happens again.
Call me me old fashioned but I can't stand unfairness and even though the client may think they deserve the penalty I think it's worth appealing. In the last few months I have submitted about half a dozen appeals. HMRC can take up to eight weeks to deal with them but up to now I am pleased to say that none have been rejected (see attached PDF).
The moral of this story has to be don't accept HMRC penalties, it's always worth an appeal but make sure you choose the right person to submit it.