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late tax returns not filed now owe £7000.

so i have not filed my tax returns for 15,16,17,18 and now owe HMRC over £7200 in fines.

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After recieving a letter from HMRC today saying i owe £7300 in fines for late returns i am left with an overwhelming sense of  being stuck in a rut not knowing what to do. In those years of trading i hardly earned any money certainly not enough to pay any tax had no other income and yet they now expect me to pay 0ver £7000  in fines. Also at the time i had a disibility which made it difficult to file returns. Since mid 18 i have not been self employed and still have a mental disability. i understand i can appeal these decisions in several ways though apparently HMRC always win these cases which seems biased towards them.  these filing of returns is a nightmare for me and very complicated. any help would be appreciated and many thanks in advance.

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By janewanless
16th Sep 2021 15:11

I suggest that if your income is now low, you contact Tax Aid (https://taxaid.org.uk/), a charity aiming to help those on low incomes with tax problems like this. This site is for tax professionals and can't give individual advice.

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By AndyC555
16th Sep 2021 15:13

Suggest you contact HMRC directly or if they are no help, try:

https://taxaid.org.uk/

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By pauld
16th Sep 2021 15:39

Once option is to send a appeal in writing - detail the above. If you do not hear from them within 30 days, send a covering letter enclosing copy of the first one. It is not the case that they always 'win'. They will take any mitigating factors into account.

Alternatively Tax Aid, as mentioned, may be worth contacting.

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By Justin Bryant
16th Sep 2021 15:55

This could verily easily be an OP 5-10 years from now re MTD.

Around 12 years ago such high ITSA penalties for the downtrodden simply weren't possible. It's a kind of dystopia.

Our tax regime is too complicated for senior judges to understand, yet HMRC are happy to severely punish mentally disabled people etc. for not understanding it.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
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By lonelyplanet
16th Sep 2021 18:37

thanks for replying. please forgive my ignorance but i am unsure what your reply meant as there is a lot of abbreviations i dont understand.
many thanks

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Replying to lonelyplanet:
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By Paul Crowley
16th Sep 2021 19:13

There are new rules coming is soon called MTD ( Making Tax Digital) from April 2023 there will be 5 tax submissions a year for most traders and landlords

Op Means Opening Post (Details in the question asked)
ITSA Means Income tax self Assessment

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By Paul Crowley
16th Sep 2021 16:19

Disagree
HMRC REGULARLY lost this type of appeal at tribunal, based on a technicality of an actual human being needed to charge penalties
Tax payers usually ended up owing £100 per return not filed
Then HMRC changed the rules.
You are really reliant on the HMRC looking leniently
I assume you agree that you did not file and knew that the returns needed filing and were sent penalty notices
2019, 2020 were these filed or not issued?

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
16th Sep 2021 18:25

Sounds horrific, if tax aid cant help I would certainly seek representation.

Accountants don't like to see people getting stuffed like this any more than you do and many will fight your corner without too much of a fee if there are genuine circumstances. That said some might charge by the 6 minute interval and land you with a whopper. Agree terms carefully!

I currently have a similar ongoing matter since Feb we are now to the "complaining about the complaints not being actioned" stage but I suspect will end with HMRC throwing in the towel and reducing the penalties to £100 or so once a suitable level officer looks at it rather than a "the computer says" level staff.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By thomas34
16th Sep 2021 18:33

Hear what you say but as in 95% of questions asked on this forum we have little information to go on. Were "notices to deliver (form SA316)" forms received for all of these years? Has the OP moved in the interim such that he was unaware of them? Has the OP received any previous penalty notices and not dealt with them? It may be that the OP's condition is such that he was unable to address the paperwork. At this stage it's difficult to see what HMRC could have done differently.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
16th Sep 2021 19:36

Op - you definitely need to do something.

It'll only get worse.

Taxaid is easiest.

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By SteveHa
17th Sep 2021 10:16

It would be a long shot, and unlikely to work, but if all else fails and there was genuinely no tax to pay in any of the years, it may be possible to persuade HMRC to withdraw the notices to file.

The time limit is normally two years, so well out of time now, but HMRC do have discretion to extend the time limit in exceptional circumstances (TMA 1970 S8B(6)(b) refers)

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