Submit Outstanding Late Tax Returns Without Delay - 850,000 Fines to be Issued by HMRC


850,000 penalties for late tax returns will be issued over the next fortnight, HMRC announced today. Mitchell Charlesworth's tax experts warn that, even if you receive a penalty, you should still send in your tax return as soon as possible to avoid additional further penalties.

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For the first time this year, everyone who filed their returns late will receive a £100 fine, even if they owe no tax at all. As such, the taxman has now sent letters to people who failed to send their 2010/11 Self-Assessment returns to HMRC on time which contain these £100 late filing penalties. The figure of 850,000 late returns is 550,000 less than the same time last year.


Tim Adcock, specialist Tax Partner at Mitchell Charlesworth advises that anyone who has still not sent their tax return to HMRC must do so now or risk additional penalties. If your return is more than three months late, you could be charged an additional £10 penalty for each day that the return is late. This penalty will continue to grow, up to a maximum of 90 days, or £900.

A significant amount of penalties have been issued despite the fact that HMRC is not issuing penalties to people who sent their 2010/11 return online on 1 or 2 February, following strike action at HMRC's call centres on 31 January.

People who get a late-filing penalty can appeal against it if they think they have a reasonable excuse for not sending back their tax return in time (such as a family illness or bereavement or a delay in HMRC sending out an online activation code). Appeals should be made in writing by 31st March. More information is available at www.hmrc.gov.uk/online/excuse-missed-deadline.htm

HMRC has also confirmed a new initiative such that, anyone who receives a penalty but does not believe that they need to be in Self Assessment can have the penalty and the return cancelled.

Should you or your business require any help or advice with your tax return, or if you would like us to manage this process for you and take the burden from your shoulders, contact Mitchell Charlesworth's specialist tax department or call Tax expert Tim Adcock on tel: 0151 255 2300 and find out how we can help you now and in the future.

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