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Late Filing ( S.A.) Penalties

Late Filing ( S.A.) Penalties

I would welcome some advice/thoughts on the matter of Late Filing Penalties (of S.A. Returns). As my “title” here suggests I have been out of the day to day tax loop for a few years & therefore not up to speed on the application & practicalities of the new Late Filing Penalties, and late submission of S.A. ITR’s

A friend has asked if I can help in some way following his receipt of substantial Late Filing Penalty charges. He had assumed that his wife (now Ex-wife) had been completing his sole trader ITR’s (not sure, as yet, if he had actually signed anything, but he has clearly been somewhat over trusting/naive & not keeping his eye on what are his responsibilities on these matters). He has been making payments towards what he believed to be the tax arising each year, without really, I would suggest, understanding the basis for these, purely on the advice of his Ex. It now appears that NO Returns were submitted, but now he has received numerous Late (None) Filing Penalty Notices which virtually covers all the payments he has made so far.

I understand an Appeal against these has been made (I haven’t seen the letter as yet) but it was rejected by HMRC ~ again I don’t know the reasons given.

I realise we have to get some idea of what tax etc. will be involved and complete the ITR's a.s.a.p.  and as best we can.

Any further advice on the best method(s) of going forward here would be most appreciated and in particular on :

  1. He needs to bring all his ITR’s up to date. The Short ITR would be most suitable. Can we file “hard copies” or must these be done on-line?
  2. If Short ITR’s can be used, are back years available online for print-off (& if so where please)?
  3. The marital/financial problems go much deeper, in that he had to sell the family home to cover serious debts (unknown to him) built up by his Ex & he is already carrying significant future liabilities in an attempt to clear these. Does anyone know of any published Tax Cases on Late Filing Penalties I can research, that have been successful for such (or similar) extenuating circumstances?
  4. Any additional advice that might be helpful to assist in fighting his corner will be most gratefully received & appreciated.

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By ACDWebb
29th Apr 2014 13:08

Does he actually need to do TR's

or is there a chance that he should not have been in SA at all? I am assuming here as you say the short return is relevant which might suggest basic Employment issues.

If there is no need to be in SA then try to get the returns - at least the more recent ones, withdrawn by HMRC under the extension to TMA rules introduced by Sch 51 FA 2013

For tax cases you can search BAILII or Tribunals Decisions

Ultimately the returns are his responsibility, so having relied on his (now ex) spouse is no Reasonable Excuse.

Good luck

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29th Apr 2014 14:25

Thanks. As mentioned he is a Sole Trader, ( "completing his sole trader ITR’s " ) and I  suspect over the taxable limit and I assume SA Returns have been issued and it would be difficult to get them "cancelled" at this point!

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By ACDWebb
29th Apr 2014 14:33

Sorry

missed that

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29th Apr 2014 15:29

Sounds like he might be better of going Bankrupt which would clear all his debts or alternatively undertake an IVA.He needs to talk to an Insolvency practitioneer ASAP 

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