Being on time is a big part of the law.

You regularly have to file documents on time at court, issue proceedings within the right time to avoid being time barred, and serve notice by a particular time to take advantage of break clauses in leases.

 Even if you are not involved in the law or legal proceedings, no doubt you will also have time limits that you have to comply with, even if it’s just being home on time to avoid family trouble.

 Everyone has responsibility to make payments on time, such as rent or mortgage payments, or the dreaded tax bill.

 We all know that if we pay late, there are likely to be consequences such as late payment fees, interest and damage to your credit rating.

 But have you ever heard of someone having consequences for paying early?

 Sadly, poor John Howard recently learned that he had been charged £300 by HMRC for filing and paying three months before the due date, having been fined previously for a late filing and not wanting to make the same mistake again. Luckily for him, Mr Howard decided not to take this lying down, and took the matter to Tribunal, where his complaint was upheld, which goes to show that the courts can apply common sense, even when the Revenue can’t. I’m also pleased to say that in legal matters, it is unlikely that you will be penalised for being early, although it’s always best to check.

 Sadly, despite the ruling, there is still reason to believe that early HMRC filings may still attract fines, and even if you know you are in the right, not everyone will have the time to challenge the decision in Tribunal like Mr Howard did.

 Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Always on time.