‘Reasonable excuse’ advised for missing partner UTRs
In response to a rash of queries and complaints, HMRC has posted an alert on its website on 21 January advising partnership members without UTRs to wait until they get the reference and submit a reasonable excuse claim form alongside the late return.
The tax department acknowledges that “some existing partnerships may not yet have received Unique Taxpayer References (UTR) for new partners”, but does not explain why so many partnerships appear to be affected.
Those affected include partners and partnerships who:
- filed a paper tax return and applied for a reference in good time to meet the 31 October deadline, but did not receive the UTR in time
- fall within HMRC’s list of specials and exclusions for online filing and have until 31 January 2011 to file a paper return
- are still waiting for UTRs to file online by the 31 January deadline.
HMRC advises anyone prepareing Self Assessment returns for these groups to file the tax return when they get the UTR and to make a reasonable excuse claim on the basis of the delayed UTR notification. The claims will need to be accompanied by details of the dates when the UTR was requested, when it was received and when the return was filed.
AccountingWEB.co.uk tax editor Rebecca Benneyworth questioned the advice and pointed out that partners and partnerships still waiting for UTRs wouldn' need to follow HMRC's latest advice.
"People in this situation don't need reasonable excuse," said Benneyworth. "If they haven't got a UTR, they will definitely not have a notice to file - and will have three months to complete their return when they get one," she said.