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HMRC flags 2 October deadline for tax return defaulters

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HMRC is set to remind thousands of higher rate taxpayers with outstanding tax returns for 2009/10 or earlier years that they have until 2 October to tell HMRC that they want to take part in the Tax Return Initiative, submit the returns and pay the outstanding tax.

‘By coming forward voluntarily through the campaign, launched on 3 July, people will receive better terms, and any penalty they pay will be lower than if HMRC comes to them first,’ the department said.

‘After 2 October, if they have not submitted their tax returns and paid what they owe, HMRC will use its legal powers to pursue outstanding returns and any unpaid tax and NICs. Penalties of up to 100% of the tax due, or even criminal investigation, could follow.’

Marian Wilson, head of HMRC Campaigns, said: ‘If HMRC has sent you a self assessment tax return or notice to complete a tax return for 2009/10 or earlier and you have not yet taken any action, this campaign offers you a quick and straightforward way to bring your tax affairs up to date. But time is running out. You have until 2 October to submit your tax returns and pay the tax you owe. If you cannot afford to pay what you owe all at once, don’t worry. If your circumstances warrant it, you will be able to spread the payments.’