A recent article in the i newspaper stated that as many as half of the fines imposed on business for filing late VAT returns may be incorrect. A data request to HMRC by a firm of accountants revealed that in 2013 17,200 appeals were made by businesses against late filing penalties and that 49% of them were successful.
That means that 51% were incorrect and had their appeal upheld!
Businesses automatically receive fines related to their VAT bills when they file returns late although this may not be a financial penalty initially. However if you have an explanation for it being late then you should appeal it because if you are late again you will be more likley to receive a fine.
Another good reason to keep your accounts up to date!