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Outstanding Tax Returns

COVID Regulations

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Under the latest COVID lockdown rules I have to shield.

What am I supposed to do about outstanding tax returns if I am not allowed to go to my office?

TIA

Replies (12)

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By seitler
04th Jan 2021 22:10

I suspect penalties for late tax returns will be scrapped this year

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Replying to seitler:
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By DKB-Sheffield
05th Jan 2021 01:37

seitler wrote:

I suspect penalties for late tax returns will be scrapped this year

As a general rule, HMRC advise that penalties will currently be raised but may be waived only on appeal<\b> (per the previous AWeb discussion in the matter).

This may change - possibly on 31st Jan??? We'll see!

However, and in response to the OP, agent (and client) disruption caused by COVID will be considered as a reasonable excuse for appeal. The only question then is... "What do HMRC class as a reasonable enough amount of unreasonable disruption to reasonably qualify as a reasonable excuse under their unpublished unreasonable reasonable excuse terms?". The answer... wait until July when HMRC return to normal operations and start processing appeals (operations which are scaled back whilst they respond to a pandemic which is affecting them... but clearly not affecting the taxpayers or their agents!!!)

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By Lucy N
05th Jan 2021 09:01

Any penalties can be appealed citing CoVid as the reason if considered a reasonable excuse but surely you can work from home like most other accountants are?

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By bernard michael
05th Jan 2021 09:19

You can go to your office if you can't work from home

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By Wanderer
05th Jan 2021 09:28

bernard michael wrote:

You can go to your office if you can't work from home

Not if they are shielding:-
gov.uk wrote:
You are strongly advised to work from home because the risk of exposure to the virus in your area may be significantly higher. If you cannot work from home, then you should not attend work.
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blue sheep
By Nigel Henshaw
05th Jan 2021 10:42

I dont wish this to sound like I do not sympathise, it is a terrible situation for everyone - but are you really only thinking about this now? Why have you not put things in place so that you can work remotely, you have had months to do that just like everyone else

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By SXGuy
05th Jan 2021 11:44

Shielding from whom? if you are the only person going to the office, and you can travel there safely, why cant you? Shielding means to literally shield yourself from others, it doesn't mean you cant travel to work.

And the rules are, go to work if you cant work from home.

Unless what your saying is, the office will be full of people and you would need to take a train to work, i dont see the issue.

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By Hugo Fair
06th Jan 2021 13:27

SXGuy wrote:

Shielding means to literally shield yourself from others, it doesn't mean you cant travel to work.


No ... shielding means to shield yourself from the virus, not just from people (who may well be a primary vector of infection but are not the sole carriers).

And, despite the 'rules' not being fully encapsulated in legislation they are clear that people who are told to shield (because they are on the official 'clinically extremely vulnerable' list not because they've simply chosen to isolate themselves) are instructed (as per the most recent letter I've received from DHSC) ...

"You are strongly advised to work from home if you can. If you cannot work from home, then you should not attend work. This letter is a formal shielding notification and can act as evidence for your employer to show that you cannot work outside your home." That is pretty unequivocal advice!

A shielded person is only "allowed" to leave the house for medical appts (or of course emergencies) or exercise - not even for shopping for food.

So, whilst I share your inference that a shielded person should in many cases have been capable of arranging things so as to WFH, they are not creating the "issue" that you say you can't see.

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By Cat's whiskers
05th Jan 2021 12:29

You don't HAVE to shield, it's advisory. As others have said if it's only you going into the office, then what's the risk. If it's not only you, then surely you can set up a home working arrangement.

Everyone is adapting their practices to keep themselves and others safe. There are ways round this.

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By Matrix
05th Jan 2021 18:59

I don’t think anyone should be risking their or someone else’s life in order to simply file a tax return.

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By JD
07th Jan 2021 22:13

Anything stopping you working from home, if you are unable to work from the office.

Gently perhaps it would be wise to update your business continuation policy at the same time. I am pretty confident that most others on here will have done over the last few months.

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