£368m in penalties for late tax returns
Filed under: Tax
According to a report by professional advice website, unbiased.co.uk, the public gifted an enormous windfall to HMRC's coffers last year by for filing late returns, inputting miscalculations and through surcharges on late payment of tax.
Online self-assessment forms must reach the taxman by 31 January and it is estimated 9.5 million people in the UK must submit a self-assessment form annually. In September last year, HMRC changed the rules so that on top of the imposed penalty of £100 fine for filing a late return, if the tax return is still outstanding after a further three months, an additional fine of £10 per day, upto a maximum of £900, would be levied.
According to unbiased.co.uk's report, the figure of £368m can be broken down three ways in which the public have allowed the HMRC to benefit:
- £116m in forms received after the 31 January deadline
- £236m in charges for miscalculations and mistakes made on the forms
- £16m in surcharges for late payment of tax from previous years
Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, said: "The rules of self-assessment forms remains unforgiving for taxpayers who return their forms incorrectly or who fail to meet the deadline...In order to avoid this unnecessary waste we are urging consumers to take tax action and act now."
An HMRC spokesman said: "The deadline for submitting your SA tax return is 31 January. Failure to do so could mean a fine of up to £1,600, so act now to get your return in on time and avoid a penalty."