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HMRC delays self-assessment penalty notices

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HMRC has announced its intention to delay sending out £100 self-assessment late filing penalty notices this year as a contingency measure to help cope with Brexit pressures.

The announcement, made in Agent Update 70, said HMRC expects ‘increased demand in our call centres as the UK leaves the EU’. By delaying the usual February issue of late filing penalty notices, which always results in a large volume of taxpayer enquiries to call centre staff, HMRC hopes to ‘release those staff for EU Exit-related work’.

‘Individuals who filed late will still be charged the penalty, but the notice will be delivered later than normal’, HMRC said. ‘The latest date that the notices will go out is the end of April, but they will go out sooner if the withdrawal agreement is agreed.’

The ATT is concerned that delayed £100 penalty notices could increase the risk of taxpayers incurring daily penalties. The £100 penalty notice is an important prompt to taxpayers that their return is outstanding as well as reminding them that they risk incurring an additional penalty of £10 per day if the return is still outstanding after three months from the 31 January due date.

Jon Stride, co-chair of ATT’s technical steering group said that delayed penalty notices, ‘may give taxpayers who haven’t filed their 2017/18 tax returns a misplaced confidence that they will either avoid any penalty or, at worst, incur only the fixed £100 penalty’.

Issue: 1433
Categories: News