About 500,000 people will be sent sent notices of penalties of at least £1,200 for not submitting their S elf Assessment tax returns, reports Nick Huber.
The number of penalties has fallen in 2012, HMRC said. The number of outstanding returns has almost halved in 2012, down to 5.9%, compared to 10.7%in 2011, meaning that 518,000 fewer penalties are being issued.
The penalty comprises £900 in daily fines, plus a late-filing penalty of £300 or 5% of the tax due. Some penalties may be waived on proof of a “reasonable excuse”, such as a family illness.
The deadline for online returns this year was 2 February - a couple of days later than usual due to strike action by some HMRC staff. Paper returns had to be filed by the end of last October.
"We want the returns, not the penalties,” said Stephen Banyard, HMRC’s director general for personal tax. “This year, half a million more people have filed their return - which means we are issuing 44% fewer penalties.”
The penalties being issued over the next few weeks are in addition to £100 late-filing penalties for missing the deadline, which were sent in late February and early March.