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How can I get rid of late filing penalties?

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Hello Everyone 

I need some good advice with this situation

Today I received a self assessment statement stating I owe £300 in late filing penalties dating back to 2014!

Which I thought at first could not be right as I was employed during all the dates listed! so I called HMRC, the gentleman was not very helpful and quite sarcastic with me to start, he told me that in 2014 I was given a tax refund which was too much, so they sent letters to me telling me this, they were sending letters to an address I no longer lived at so natuarlly i didn't know and the amount was never repaid. I didn't know until speaking with this man at HMRC today that I have to inform them when I move, I'll take that as I genuinely wasn't aware I had to do this, I thought that was all settled between the accountants at the companies I worked for.

so year after year since 2014 they've been adding on another £100 so I now owe £300 and the original refund amount of £95.60 - £395.60

he said he'll send to me via post all of my employment history and tax history covering this time period, I don't understand how that's going to help me but he said I can contest the fines but I have to give a "bloody good reason"

the kicker of all of this is that the letter I received today is dated November 29th 2018!

So what on earth can I do with this?


Thank you in advance for any advice and help!

Replies (9)

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By Vaughan Blake1
01st Mar 2019 16:59

This doesn't make a lot of sense TBH. If you have been issued with tax returns for all the years after 2014 the penalties would be into the thousands, not just another £300. You therefore need to see what the £300 is made up of. Ask for copies of all penalty notices and correspondence.

Tip - If your only income is from your salary and the penalties arise from non submitted returns, argue that you are outside of the scope of self assessment and ask that the returns be withdrawn. If this is your route, then do not send in the missing returns as this scuppers the argument!

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By DaveyJonesLocker
01st Mar 2019 17:13

What does your accountant.....oh never mind.

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By Accountant A
01st Mar 2019 17:31

SophiaH wrote:

I need some paid for professional advice

Fixed that for you.

Thanks (1)
By thomas34
01st Mar 2019 17:36

As VB has said, none of this makes sense. You are inferring that due to an incorrect refund you owed them £95.60 which amount should have been coded out by HMRC. I would speculate that you were at some point under self-assessment but have never been taken out and hence the penalties the quantum of which would be vastly understated anyway. We don't know how HMRC suddenly found your correct address but presumably via your P60s which you've been receiving since 2014. As VB has also said do not under any circumstance submit any more returns.

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By lionofludesch
02nd Mar 2019 12:03

With all the data now available to Government and quasi-Government sources these days, it's hard to believe that HMRC can't do something basic like find out where you live.

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By sheila t
26th Apr 2019 10:15

As part of my voluntary work I have seen a number of these.

If you owe tax for a previous year (which due to HMRC sending a refund you appear to do) and HMRC can't collect this through your tax-code eg if you are not working or only have a small salary at the time HMRC seek to collect the tax due then they used to issue a self-assessment return as the only way they could collect the tax owing to them. The new 'simple assessment' system does put an end to this nonsense. The penalties are based on the date HMRC issued the return not the date it would normally have been due and as the problem only affects one year they don't usually issue returns for other tax years but just keep an eye out in case you receive a letter from HMRC aksing for a return for other years.

HMRC will probably say they can't cancel the requirement to file a return as it's too long ago, in which case you will need to send in a return, using the information they have sent you. In the box for any other information make a note that you're only sending in the return under protest to avoid futher penalties.

At the same time send in an appeal against the penalties, saying your only income was a salary taxed under PAYE so you did not need to be under self-assessment for the year.

My experience is that HMRC do then cancel the penalties (and sometimes also stop trying to collect the tax due which originally caused all the problems)

Good luck!

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Replying to sheila t:
By SteLacca
26th Apr 2019 10:31

I forget the detail, but there have been a couple of FTT cases recently very critical of HMRC sending SATRs in order to collect a known underpayment, since S8 makes the purpose of a Return to establish the liability to tax. Because the notices to file were not issued for that purpose they were not issued in accordance with S8 and the notices were invalid.

Notwithstanding this, S8B(6)(b) gives HMRC the power to extend the withdrawal period, anyway.

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By Wanderer
26th Apr 2019 10:32

Wasn't there a recent case on this which basically said that HMRC were out of order in issuing a SA return when they already knew what the liability was?

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Replying to Wanderer:
By Wanderer
26th Apr 2019 10:41
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