Received Penalties For No-Submission Of ESR Report, File an Appeal

Penalties For No-Submission Of ESR Report? File an Appeal

Table of Contents

companies are often required to submit Environmental and Social Responsibility (ESR) reports regularly to show compliance and commitment to things like workplace safety, emissions reduction, non-discrimination, and other governance matters. If your company failed to file an ESR report on time and got slapped with fines or penalties as a result, take heart – you can appeal to potentially get those unfair penalties removed by following this 4 step guide.

Step 1: Decide If Appealing the ESR Report Penalties Makes Sense

Before jumping into the appeals process, carefully weigh whether appealing is likely to be successful and worthwhile in your specific situation:

Consider why the ESR report was late or missing in the first place. If there were extenuating circumstances truly out of your control – like a key staffer getting into a serious accident, a natural disaster damaging facilities, or your vendor having technical failures – highlighting these issues can bolster an appeal. Minor oversights or excuses are far less likely to warrant overturning penalties.

Review history of timely ESR submissions. If your company has a long track record of submitting compliant, accurate ESR reports on schedule with no prior violations, emphasize this strongly in your appeal. It powerfully demonstrates that the failure to file was a one-off aberration rather than part of a pattern.

Do a cost/benefit analysis. Carefully calculate the amount of time, effort, personnel hours, and hard costs required to produce an appeal compared to the actual dollar amount of the ESR penalty fees themselves. If the penalties are relatively small or nominal, it may not be worthwhile to mount a resource-intensive appeal effort.

Step 2: Gather Documentation and Evidence to Support Your ESR Report Appeal

The key to a successful appeal is the strength of your supporting materials and evidence. Be sure to compile comprehensive documentation including:

Records substantiating the underlying circumstances that prevented you from filing the ESR properly and on time. These could include medical records, accident/police reports, property damage assessments, personnel documents showing unforeseen turnover, or any related correspondence.

Concrete evidence demonstrating your history of ESR compliance from past submissions.

Specific details relating the penalty itself and justification for the appeal outcome you desire. Keep copies of the original penalty notice paperwork, excerpts from the relevant regulations highlighting criteria for exceptions and appeals, precedent cases where similar penalties were rescinded, and any calculations or figures that can validate the specific appeal outcome requested.

Step 3: Draft a Careful, Detailed Appeal Letter to Contest the ESR Penalties

The appeal letter itself is your opportunity to clearly tell your full story from start-to-finish while formally requesting your desired outcome. Be sure to:

Adhere to appropriate professional letter writing standards. Use a standard business letter template and include your official company contact information, the recipient’s details like name and address, and the date at the top.

Maintain a polite, deferential yet confident tone. Express dismay at the unfair situation, but avoid aggressive or accusatory language which could inadvertently hurt your appeal’s chance of success. Be confident but excessively contrite.

Succinctly explain the circumstances surrounding the ESR reporting failure, how specifically those circumstances impaired your ability to file properly and on-time, and your history of compliance. Aim for 3-4 paragraphs briefly running through what prevented you from submitting the ESR, how these were extenuating and unforeseen factors out of your control based on the documentation, and citing your stellar track record of compliance as supporting facts.

Explicitly request penalty removal citing the evidence and arguments made. Politely yet firmly ask that, based on the documentation attached substantiating your claims, your violation be excused and associated penalties rescinded accordingly.

Close by expressing appreciation and recap main appeal justifications. Thank the recipient sincerely for their reconsideration of the unjust penalties, and recap your appeal’s main points around the extenuating circumstances and past compliance record in 1 paragraph.

Step 4: Submit Your ESR Report Appeal and Closely Monitor Next Steps

To maximize the likelihood of success, adhere to proper protocols for actually submitting your appeal and actively monitoring next steps:

Send the physical appeal letter and accompanying documentary evidence to the appropriate department or senior officials based on provided regulatory guidelines. Often a dedicated appeals board or ombudsman will be specified.

Expect to receive a formal confirmation of receipt and updates on timing for an appeal decision within 4-6 weeks. If you receive no correspondence after 6 weeks, send a polite letter inquiring about the status and re-confirming your request.

Promptly provide any additional supporting materials or clarification requested by the appeals board as they review. Cooperate fully and transparently with any supplemental requests to bolster your case.

Understand the range of possible outcomes once a determination is ultimately issued. Be aware these generally include penalty rescindment (best case), denial of appeal upholding the penalties (worst case), or partial relief such as reduced penalties.


Dealing with penalties over an ESR reporting failure can be immensely stressful and damaging, but thoughtfully crafting a tailored appeal makes getting those unfair fines overturned very possible. Use this 4 step guide’s strategic blueprint to substantially improve your chances of succeeding on appeal.

The keys are gathering air-tight documentation, telling your story compellingly yet professionally in an appeal letter, cooperating with all information requests, and diligently shepherding the application through the review process. While the ideal scenario is having fines rescinded in full, partial relief or fine reduction may also still be secured in certain cases. Don’t let an unforeseen ESR stumble become an unjust financial burden – get working on that appeal today!


What are examples of reasonable justifications for an ESR appeal?

Valid rationales could include natural disasters severely damaging facilities, unexpected departure of key compliance personnel, illness/hospitalization of core staff, vendor failures, or technical errors like reporting website outages. Minor oversights or excuses generally do not warrant overturning often-substantial penalties.

What is the typical timeline for receiving an ESR appeal determination?

You can generally expect to receive written notification of the appeal decision within 4-6 weeks after filing your appeal and submitting all required supporting evidence. If you receive no updates after 6 weeks post-submission, send a polite letter inquiring about the application status and re-confirming your active appeal.

What is the recommended approach to maximize chances of a successful ESR appeal?

Thoroughly documenting the unforeseen and extenuating circumstances, highlighting your history of compliant on-time reporting, maintaining polite deferential tone in communications, cooperating promptly and fully with any supplemental requests, and diligently monitoring the case are the best practices to optimize the likelihood of a successful ESR report penalty appeal.



Ms. Vibha Modi, CA, is supported by 13+ Years of Corporate Tax, International Taxation and Accounting Expertise.

Book A Free Consultation

Quick Contact