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HMRC sends out late filing penalties

24th Aug 2012
Freelance journalist
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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.

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By carnmores
28th Aug 2012 09:10

why do they only send out penalties now after more than 6 months

why did they not send reminders each month

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By cmiskin
28th Aug 2012 10:51

Late Filing Penalties

Don't often have reason to defend HMRC but the communications have been many - £100 penalty notice, a letter warning daily penalties about to start, letters at the 30 and 60 day penalty points plus text message and voicemail campaigns.

 

The real story seems to be how few returns have been filed since January - there were 850k £100 penalties and 500k now so in theory 350k filed but... 273k of these are cases where a nil return has been captured because the individual should not have been in SA - so only about 77k actually filed.

Suggests to me that a significant proportion of the remainder are also cases where SA returns not required.

 

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By carnmores
28th Aug 2012 11:03

ok thats fair BUT

i have some new clients who swear that the fine was the first they heard!

they send out CT penalties everytime the penalty increases so why not SA

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Stephen Quay
By squay
29th Aug 2012 17:52

Should I Be In Self assessment? Penalties?

This notice SAF2 "Should I Be In Self assessment?" was sent out by HMRC with every notice to file a SA return in April. This contained a checklist and invited recipients who thought they were outside of SA to phone HMRC to discuss being removed.

It included the link www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/need-tax-return.htm for more information.

I also received from HMRC last year (not sure when but it shows 01/11 as the origin) the notice explaining the new penalties in great detail. It may have arrived with the April 2011 notice to file a SA return. All SA "customers" would have received one.

It included the link http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/deadlines-penalties.htm

I believe we have all been made well aware of the new penalties and notices but unfortunately many "customers" don't read them as they look like circulars. And tax is "so boring". When we used to receive paper returns in a grey plastic wrapper with notices inside I wish I'd received a pound for every client that gave it to us unopened. Without paper returns we rarely see the "notices to submit a return" as most end up in the bin along with all the other important stuff.

Still, as already said by others, it wouldn't do any harm to send out regular statements showing penalties accruing. It might galvanise "customers into action before its too late.

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