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HMRC issuing Premature SATR 17/18 £100 Penalties?

Client Fined for Late Submission of 2017/18 Trust SA Return. Have I Missed Something?

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Just received in today's post £100 Penalty Notice dated 8 January 2019 for Late Submission of 2017/18 Tax Return. 

Return was submitted online on 4 January 2019. Online Services shows it having been received by HMRC. Am I missing something here. The Tax Return deadline is still 2 weeks away.

Has anyone else had a premature £100 penalty notice under similar circumstances. If so, what is going on?

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16th Jan 2019 15:37

Yes they have a fault

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16th Jan 2019 16:01

Great! For a minute I thought they'd moved the deadline forward without telling me :-)

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to penelope pitstop
16th Jan 2019 16:26

No we had 2 today. I just called and had them removed

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By MJShone
16th Jan 2019 17:16

According to HMRC it affects returns filed on 2 Jan.

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to MJShone
17th Jan 2019 07:36

Did they let an American take control that day?

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to MJShone
18th Jan 2019 11:17

I only filed one on that day, and no penalty.

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18th Jan 2019 11:25

We received one for a return they captured as nil in Dec, again told there was a fault.

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By Ajtms
18th Jan 2019 11:38

I have had continuous unlawful "early tax return" penalties on a variety of trust tax returns over a 6 year period. In some years I have taken the trouble to claim compensation and this year for 2016/2017 I have taken it to the Ombudsman. Sadly the Ombudsman just said it was a genuine error on the part of HMRC as no one single trust received any more than a couple of errors. They were unprepared to take all the other cases into account thus ignoring the fact that HMRC have been issuing these unlawful penalties for 6 years on other cases.

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to Ajtms
18th Jan 2019 14:27

Can you tell me any more about these trust returns which had incorrect late filing penalties? How many years were involved? Were you successful with your claim for compensation?

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to Rebecca Cave
18th Jan 2019 15:45

Just checked the file again. 2017/18 Trust Return was filed on 2 January 2019, not 4 January 2019. 4 January 2019 is the date HMRC agent's online service shows the Tax Return as having been received. £100 penalty notice was issued on 8 January 2019 for 2017/18.
This is the first and only Trust Return this has happened to. I have never asked for compensation for any of my clients, but this and another recent case about another matter has caused me to reflect on whether or not I should be claiming compensation.
But I do not want to spend hours concocting a letter claiming compensation for trivial amounts like £50. By the way, what sort of compensation levels are there out there for HMRC errors.

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By djtax
to penelope pitstop
07th Feb 2019 15:24

The overly convoluted complaints system is a long standing bugbear of mine. It discourages all of us from making complaints so HMRC get a false view of our overall 'satisfaction' with their services, and how many of us don't bother for the odd £50 how many times over? We end up correcting HMRC mistakes in our own time at our own expense - especially if a client is on a fixed fee basis. Why are we collectively so soft as a profession - we are letting HMRC get away with murder!

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By Ajtms
to Rebecca Cave
18th Jan 2019 17:42

Over the last 6 years I have had about 30 trusts that suffered unlawful "early tax return" penalties. I made a FOI request and HMRC replied on 31 Aug 2018 to say that in 2011-12, 480 trust returns had a false penalty, a further 470 in 2012-13, 460 in 2013-2014 and supposedly only 10 pa in each subsequent year. I do not believe the figure of 10 and neither do my professional body as 7 of them were mine. Rather than have to prepare over 100 separate invoices to individually reclaim compensation for my clients, HMRC offered me £150 paid direct to me which I accepted in view of the work in claiming individual compensation was more than putting the problem right. With the Ombudsman refusing a Class Action against HMRC, HMRC know that they can get away with their continued failings and will never be forced to put the matter right once and for all.

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to Ajtms
18th Jan 2019 18:05

I ain't spending two hours drafting a letter of complaint just to get compensation of £50 (i.e. £25 an hour). It just ain't worth it :-(

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to penelope pitstop
18th Jan 2019 18:10

AHA! But on the other hand, if someone could supply a stencil letter of complaint for which I could fill in the blanks within 10 minutes then that would equate to £300 an hour! (Excluding travel time to the Post Office) minus 56p cost of 2nd Class Stamp (or rather "Signed For" £1.68 otherwise HMRC could say they never received the complaint).

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18th Jan 2019 12:12

By this logic we should be getting MTD penalties for late filing of VAT returns by mid march?

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18th Jan 2019 13:16

And HMRC want MTD because HMRC claim taxpayers are making mistakes. It is HMRC that are incompetent.

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18th Jan 2019 16:08

Can you all confirm whether the late filing penalties were only received in resecot of trust tax retuns filed on 2 Jan 2019, or have other returns been affected which were filed on different days?

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By Ajtms
to Rebecca Cave
18th Jan 2019 23:50

I have not (as yet) received any penalties for 2017/2018. I have though received over 80 on 30 clients for the 6 years to 2016/2017.

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19th Jan 2019 19:14

£40 goodwill payment following a complaint. It took three cheques though before it actually arrived at my clients house.

(this was when they merged two accounts so my client lost all her tax payment history and it was allocated to another person with similar but not identical name. This third party received my clients tax statements until we noticed the problem and stopped correspondence going out. Then HMRC kicked us out as agents, which meant we couldnt access agents services ot helpline!! And HMRC wouldn't say how long it would take to put right).

Back on topic, we had one incorrect penalty notice. A trust filed on 2nd January online.

The Times are running a story on it as HMRC were refusing to admit a problem yesterday. Apparently we all filed paper returns, so thats why they sent out the penalties.

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19th Jan 2019 19:23

For what its worth, I reckon we file online but its not captured properly their end, so they input it themselves or something, making the computer system think its a paper filed return.

Im also having a lot of examples when I have filed online, its succesfully showing as received, but the taxpayer account hasnt been updated for tax. Theyve received no demands so contacted me and their account currently shows nothing as due.

The Government are going to have a large decrease in tax receipts on 31st January if they dont sort this quickly! I know its still due but we have all sorts of clients, some who are on the case and ask me how to pay, but many who simply wait for the demand having filed months ago and accounts with these issues appear to not be receiving statements.

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to Kaylee100
20th Jan 2019 06:08

Kaylee100 you may have a point regarding the returns not being end-to-end digital processed. I've been efiling since 1998. In those days I was told by my local HMRC office (remember them?) that efiled Trust and Estate Returns were printed out at HMRC's end then manually input HMRC's systems. Apparently there wasn't the volume of Trust and Estate returns to justify digital capturing.

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to Kaylee100
20th Jan 2019 06:12

Kaylee100 regarding returns showing as received but not captured, I don't have any Trust and Estate Returns showing this (I only do a handful a year) but I've had plenty of individuals in this category. The problem started in 2017 and is more apparent in 2018. All my cases are Marriage Allowance recipients. I've raised this on the HMRC Agent Forum but HMRC Forum denies there is a problem. But there is and the ADL agrees. Now that agents no longer receive paper copies of statements of accounts I don't routinely log into HMRC to check statements. I do keep a list of anticipated refunds and chase up late ones. That's how I spot most of these cases.

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to kevinringer
20th Jan 2019 12:26

Yes, all of these "uncaptured" examples are individuals with MTA involved.

The penalty one was a Trust. Like you, I dont do many Trusts.

I have also had two examples of missing second payment on accounts this week. Im still in the camp of this being a client error of some sort but Im waiting to hear back on whether its been traced. More and more clients are saying they are worried about payment online and want to still use cheque. So Im having to create payslips for postal use more and more (as no blanks are provided anymore for filers closer to the deadline).

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