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Late Filing Penalty Problems

Interesting post this morning.

Two clients (more to follow?) where we successfully appealed against late filing penalties (because 2011 Returns should never have been issued in the first place) have received £580 penalties for late filing. These have been calculated at 58 days x £10 per day from 3 months after the paper return filing deadline.

It seems to me that HMRC have somehow logged the Returns as "received" when they accepted that Returns shouldn't have been issued and their systems have picked this up as being a late paper return - originally due in 31/10/11.

I'm now left having to waste more (unchargeable) time fending off clients who are being pusued for a hefty penalty they don't owe and get HMRC to cancel this and, maybe, apologise to the client.

It beggars belief - roll on retirement.

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We had one yesterday

Yes - we had one yesterday where we had successfully appealed the £100 late filing penalty but HMRC then raised penalties of £380.  According to the helpline operative the person dealing with the initial penalty appeal had cleared the penalty but not checked the box or whatever they needed to do to clear the daily penalties. Surely by clearing the £100 penalty the daily late filing penalties it should follow that the daily penalties would be cleared too - but apparently not, so that is definitely one to look out for.

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12,000 affected

You are not the only ones. I was getting ready to pick up the phone to HMRC to ask about the situation when the following statement came through:

"We have identified that nearly 12,000 people have been sent a Self Assessment daily penalty letter in error. We are very sorry and can reassure these customers that we know who they are and that this letter is incorrect – they do not owe a penalty. We are writing to all of them to apologise and to explain this error. "The 12,000 customers are among the 130,000 who we have already taken out of Self Assessment, following a cleanse of the database and our invitation to customers to contact us if they felt they shouldn’t be in Self Assessment. We can reassure these customers that they have been removed from Self Assessment."

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