Tax: HMRC Sends Out 850,000 Penalty Notices
Tax officials are sending nearly one million penalties to taxpayers who failed to file self-assessment returns by the end of January, Sky News has learned.
By February 20, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will have completed a mail-out of £100 fixed fines to around 850,000 taxpayers.
The letters are being sent to those registered for self-assessment (SA) but who failed to file personal 2011-12 tax year returns online by January 31.
The penalty payments will boost HMRC coffers by around £85m. The late filing figure is down on the penalty number for the 2010-11 tax year.
But the final figure is expected to grow significantly as those who fail to pay the penalty and file returns by the three-month cut-off incur additional daily fines.
Around 60,000 late tax returns have already been lodged between February 1 and 15 - but those taxpayers are still liable to pay the £100 penalty.
An HMRC spokesman told Sky News: "Anyone who hasn't yet sent their 2011-12 tax return to HMRC will have already incurred a £100 late-filing penalty.
"Non-filers have to file online now to avoid further penalties or contact us to ask to be taken out of self-assessment, and provided they meet the criteria, we will take them out of SA and cull any penalties incurred."
The Tax Office expects to have finished processing all 850,000 penalty letters by February 20.
Most of those hit by the late filing penalty are expected to receive their letters within seven days.
HMRC has so far received approximately 9.76 million returns, both paper and online, for the 2011-12 tax year.
In the previous tax year, 80.9% of the 10.5 million SA taxpayers filed on time for the January cut-off.
Taxpayers who fail to file returns after three months are hit with a daily £10 fine up to a maximum of £900, along with the initial £100 fine.
Those who allow the filing delay to extend beyond six months are handed another £300 fine or 5% of the tax due, whichever is higher.
HMRC is then entitled to give those who fail to file within 12 months a tax demand up to 100% of the tax due instead.
what do you think?
Filed mine on the 31st, ridiculous way for the HMRC to be making money.
Haha and me! Did the same last year. Keep meaning to do it before but it never happens.
I was unemployed for the whole of 2011-12 tax year and HMRC demanded I complete a self ssessment return on line when I requested to be taken off self assessment having never had to do it before. Puzzling???? How does one get free from it?
Tell HMRC to take a running jump.
Is that you Jimmy?
Know one case where the lady cleared her tax affairs last year after her employer failed to pay her NHI now they are saying she owes them money from two years ago and applied penalties - they are incompetent typical Civil Service shambles
Heres an idea, just send it back on time!
I only wish they would devote as much energy into getting after some of the corporate tax avoiders as they do in pursuing the little guys. Vintage Civil Service procedure to pick on the easy targets
Dave many corporates are using legal methods but this is across the board Government has played a clever game arguing about the level of tax evasion if they simplified the system it might help but they have given half wits a bit of power
Their time would be better spent going after tax dodgers and smugglers
But Shirley then the Government would have to find some other diversion for us the masses