1 November 2018

High Income Child Benefit Charge - ‘Failure to notify’ penalty cases

HMRC have provided the following information about High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) cases where a penalty was issued for the tax years 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 to customers who had not registered for the charge.

'In response to customer and stakeholder feedback, we have taken the decision to proactively review cases, and issue penalty refunds, where we find the customer had a reasonable excuse for not meeting their tax obligation.

HMRC defines a reasonable excuse as something that stopped someone from meeting a tax obligation which they took appropriate care to meet and decisions on what constitute a reasonable excuse are based on an assessment of individual circumstances.Normally customers have to explain why they have a reasonable excuse, however in this case they will not need to do so. HMRC is proactively reviewing cases and the department will issue the penalty refunds, where due, over the next six months.

The review will include cases where families made a claim for Child Benefit before HICBC was introduced, and where one partner’s income subsequently increased to over £50,000 in or after the 2013/14 tax year. This is because the higher earner in a household who pays the charge may not be the same person claiming Child Benefit on behalf of the household.

However, our review will not include anyone who received communications from us about HICBC or claimed Child Benefit after the charge was introduced in 2012/13.'

Further information about this exercise is avalable on the GOV.UK website