Late filing penalty notices are on the way to 850,000 taxpayers

HMRC has revealed that 850,000 people, including some accountants, will receive £100 penalty notifications this year for not filing their self-assessment income tax returns on time.

Although that sounds like a lot, it’s actually more than half a million less than were issued this time last year. It is thought that the two-day extension to the deadline to counteract the effects of industrial action could have prompted an additional 550,000 to submit their income tax return on time.

The Revenue is encouraging all late filers to send in their return as soon as possible. If it remains unfiled after three months, a daily fine of £10 will be levied for 90 days. This means that people who are six months late submitting their return will automatically face £1,000 in penalties.

Acting director general of personal tax at the Revenue, Stephen Banyard, explained that the department is interested in receiving returns rather than imposing penalties and anyone who is still sitting on theirs should submit it as soon as possible.

Anyone who receives an automatic £100 penalty notice over the next few weeks will have the right to appeal if they believe they have a reasonable excuse for missing the extended deadline. A reasonable excuse could be illness, a death in the family or HMRC’s delay in the issuance of an online activation code.

If you believe you should not be included in Self Assessment you should call HMRC’s hotline number 0845 900 0444 and ask to have the fee cancelled and your name removed from the system.

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