Construction Industry Scheme - penalties post 6 April 2015 for nil returns

From 6 April 2015 an amendment was introduced to the CIS system, so that the requirement for a contractor to make a return to HMRC even if the contractor has not made any payments in a tax month will be removed.  However, contractors may still make a voluntary nil return, but are no longer obliged to do so.

One of our client's did not submit a return for the month ended 5 May 2015, as no payments to subcontractors had been made in that tax month.

A late Filing Penalty Charge has been issued.

Having now investigated the position on the the .GOV website this states:

"You'll get a penalty if you miss the deadline for filing returns, including "Nil Notifications"

The penalty will be cancelled if you let HMRC know that you didn't pay any subcontractors that month".

So the penalty has to be appealed, or if not technically appealed, correspondence has to be entered into.

I cannot see how this is a simplification or removing burden from businesses. If anything it is making matters more complicated and I cannot think that this was the intention of the measures introduced by the government.  

It seems to me that it is going to be easier to continue to submit a nil return, rather than no return: which is exactly where we were before the change in the rules. 
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  • Please would you be so kind as to state precisey where on the .gov website it says " .... The penalty will be cancelled if you let HMRC know that you didn't pay any subcontractors that month".
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