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Late filing penalty notices received from HMRC

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Today's post brought late filing penalties from HMRC.  Unfortunately, there are five but only one is addressed to me regarding one of my clients.  The other four are addressed to other firms and do not include my address.  What would you do?  Ignore them, shred them, forward on to the addresses on the notices, return them to HMRC, something else?

Thanks

Replies (27)

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By Crouchy
17th Mar 2021 13:50

Don't open them, and return to sender

nothing else required

Thanks (2)
Replying to Crouchy:
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By Cholmes
17th Mar 2021 13:53

Thanks. They have been opened as the notices were in the same envelope as the one for my client. 5 notices in the same envelope with only the top one for my client.

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By Paul Crowley
17th Mar 2021 13:59

HMRC really completely useless
I would consider the breach of data protection could be a reportable offence
If I were mischievious I would send them recorded to my MP and ask whether HMRC do this on a regular basis

I only had one, should have been more as a couple of clients decided to deal with themselves
Mine was for late partnership return and warned of daily penalties
Yes being a partnership there should be at least two people

Were all yours partnerships?

Edit
I had assumed all in one envelope as most penalty dates I get a few, as in one envelope

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Cholmes
17th Mar 2021 14:08

All for individuals

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Replying to Cholmes:
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By Paul Crowley
17th Mar 2021 14:21

Individual but arising from late partnership return.
The client submitted his return, but not the partnership return.
PITA client
Glad gone

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Paul Crowley
17th Mar 2021 17:06

Looked on line
Only penalties showing are three

2 from the same partnership, just the partnership NOT the personal return
1 Trust

But only one notice out of three received today

NO penalties yet for late file personal returns

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
By SteveHa
17th Mar 2021 14:41

Paul Crowley wrote:

I would consider the breach of data protection could be a reportable offence
If I were mischievious I would send them recorded to my MP and ask whether HMRC do this on a regular basis

I wouldn't even need to be mischievous. I'd do it anyway. HMRC's many failings need bringing to the attention of Parliament every single time.

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Replying to SteveHa:
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By Paul Crowley
17th Mar 2021 17:09

Yes
Might do it if I get any

Have had errors before but always destroyed.
Other agent can look up on line. Client gets their paper version anyway, We just get the agent copy

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By paul.benny
17th Mar 2021 14:04

Sounds like a fault with the print routine or the envelope stuffer rather than a willful or careless error. I'd destroy or send on to the correct recipient.

No point in stirring up - will just create a nuisance.

Thanks (1)
Replying to paul.benny:
By Paul D Utherone
17th Mar 2021 15:16

paul.benny wrote:

Sounds like a fault with the print routine or the envelope stuffer rather than a willful or careless error. I'd destroy or send on to the correct recipient.

No point in stirring up - will just create a nuisance.


I would be inclined to return them and not just destroy them.

How many penalty cases have I read where HMRC said "we never had the mail returned so the penalty must be treated as validly given", and the appeal fails on those very grounds!?

Also by way of similar experience in the past, I received an envelope that contained an enquiry notice for a client of mine, plus a notice for a completely different taxpayer (not a client), and the agent copy notice for that other taxpayer. Clearly a stuffing machine error, but posted back with a note saying "received in error" for the same reason as above

Thanks (5)
Replying to Paul D Utherone:
Jason Croke
By Jason Croke
17th Mar 2021 15:45

Agree. Many a VAT case has stalled because HMRC has proof warning or penalty letter was issued and taxpayer arguing they never got it, the Tribunal will be satisfied with HMRC's side of things as HMRC can prove the letter was sent....so if only for the benefit of the mystery taxpayers, send them back to HMRC with a polite note re. data protection and to ensure recipients correctly receive these letters.

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By K81
17th Mar 2021 14:47

send them back.

I only had one - not expecting one - apparently HMRC have set up a duplicate partnership for one of my partnership cases which has been in existence for several years, three years returns filed. Half an hour on the phone to find this out & back office need to sort out apparently !

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By JD
17th Mar 2021 15:10

Also had one, for a partnership that ceased in 2018 - Automation is so much better than having people who know what they are doing check !!

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By New To Accountancy
17th Mar 2021 23:00

I had one today for an individual.
I've sent an appeal with a copy of the online submission reference, the 'review your answers' section for what data I'd entered for the client and a copy of the 'no reply' email confirming receipt of the self-employment ceasing.
Another day spent going over what I've already done.

Is not doing what you need to do enough? It's all about keeping evidence for when you need to prove you've done it. If I didn't keep all of this, I'd probably forget I'd done it (it was over a year ago), and I know the client would have paid the penalty.

Still, the client will be happy that I've quashed the penalty he should never have had.

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By 0098087
18th Mar 2021 10:32

Had one for another firm which was in between ones of my clients. I'm shredding. The client will get a copy.

Thanks (1)
By 0098087
18th Mar 2021 10:32

Had one for another firm which was in between ones of my clients. I'm shredding. The client will get a copy.

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By Cholmes
18th Mar 2021 10:38

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. I will return them to HMRC.

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Replying to Cholmes:
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By New To Accountancy
18th Mar 2021 10:46

Sorry I didn't even answer your question. I immediately went on a tangent.

If it's not too late - I usually get another (less torn) brown envelope; there's usually plenty in the bin; put them in there and sellotape the top with RTS on the back and circle the HMRC address.

Thanks (1)
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By DTB27
22nd Mar 2021 10:32

If it was me I would send the originals back to HMRC with a polite notice saying they are not your client and have been sent to you in error, also raising the point about a potential breach of GDPR.

However I would also send a copy to the actual accountant notifying them of the issue, just in case their client doesn't get their copy. The other agent would then have "proof" that HMRC had incorrectly sent the notices to the wrong person as potential grounds for an appeal on the basis that the penalties were not properly issued. (I accept, having received the copy notices from you they would have been aware of the penalties however the penalty notices were not correctly issue to them (and possibly the client)).

Thanks (1)
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By blazefan
22nd Mar 2021 11:03

I had six in one envelope, two for my clients and four for another accountancy firm.

I copied them and sent the copies on to the other practice with a covering letter and returned the originals to HMRC, without a letter.

Thanks (1)
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By Tomazaan
22nd Mar 2021 20:19

I have just received a penalty notice for one of my clients from another tax agent and I assumed that it had been sent to that agent in error along with a batch of their own penalty notices. I am very grateful that they bothered to send it to me as my client had not mentioned it.
So, please send copies or the originals to the correct agent.

Thanks (1)
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By Homeworker
24th Mar 2021 10:26

We've had two so far. One for a client who had died the previous year and the second for a client who should no longer be in SA. Both now cancelled, at the second attempt at getting through on the phone, both times involving a 45 minute wait to get through (I gave up the first time!).
What really bugged me was getting the HMRC email (sent to agents only) a few days earlier inviting me to submit bulk appeals where Covid was the cause of the delay (not applicable to either) and suggesting that online appeals could be made for individuals and including a link to that. I logged in with my agent details only to be told that I could not use it - it was only for individuals and businesses - so why invite me to do so?!

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By Paul Crowley
24th Mar 2021 13:41

Had not thought about this again until I got a PM this morning
My agent portal shows 13 people with penalties
I received one. Reasonable to assume 12 went to wrong agents

No idea on the other two
One personal
One the other partner in a partnership. So one partner gets a penalty for partnership return not filed, other does not.

What do HMRC do with LLPs once struck off?
LLP partners were one company and one person
Person never registered for SA
2019 and 2020 returns not submitted, but apparently no penalties yet

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By L Haldane
24th Mar 2021 13:57

I have also received a penalty notice for another firms's client included in the same envelope as the two I was expecting for my own clients.

Beyond doubt, a systematic fault with HMRC.

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By Cholmes
24th Mar 2021 14:15

Thanks to everyone for your comments. It seems that quite a few have been delivered to the incorrect Agent. I have not had this issue in previous years so something appears to have gone wrong at HMRC's end. As mentioned above, it would appear to be a problem with the 'envelope stuffer'.

I phoned HMRC, and after a long period on hold, I was told to simply return them to HMRC. The person I spoke to couldn't, or wouldn't, comment on what had gone wrong or how.

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Replying to Cholmes:
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By Paul Crowley
24th Mar 2021 14:25

Was HMRC person surprised?
Issue is that the agent line now just passed on to the ordinary operatives.

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Maddy Christopher
By Maddy Christopher
26th Mar 2021 10:30

Hi all,

Thank you for all the information, you can now read the article:

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/hmrc-policy/hmrc-accused-of-data-bre...

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