My company was late submitting its VAT return and payment for the quarter to 30 September 2009. The VAT office has sent a surcharge notice, but the letter also says I can have the decision to impose the surcharge reviewed. Should I ask for this review?
If there were some exceptional circumstances that contributed to the late filing of your VAT return and payment, such as a death of a close family member, or a fire at your company premises, you may well have a reasonable excuse. In this case you should ask for the surcharge to be reviewed, but you need to do this within 30 days of the date of the letter from the VAT office. The reviewer will overturn the surcharge if they agree you had a reasonable excuse for late filing. You should provide a full written explanation of the circumstances that caused the delay, including any independent evidence you have, such as a report from the fire service.