SA penalty notices – what to do

HMRC are about to start issuing penalty notices for late filed SA Tax Returns due on 31 January. Two key facts are: 1. HMRC may be able to cancel the return and penalty if the taxpayer calls them and establishes that they should not have been in SA. 2. Appeals can be made up to 31 March even if issued before the end of February. The latest alert from HMRC is copied below.

More information is on the HMRC website at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/deadlines-penalties.htm 

HMRC’s alert states:

‘Self Assessment Penalties, Removal and Appeals

HMRC are now sending Self Assessment Penalty Notices of £100 for those that did not file online by 2 February.

We want the returns and not the penalties and have worked hard to encourage customers to file on time and online. In fact, a record 90.4% of customers filed on time this year, leaving fewer than 1 million left to file. And a record for online filing was also set – over 80%.

HMRC have put in place additional opportunities for customers to remove themselves from Self Assessment if they shouldn't be in it or for those wishing to appeal against penalties.

  • We have sent information with the penalty notices detailing a telephone number and offering customers the option to contact us if they think they should not be in Self Assessment. If they phone us and we agree, we will take them out of Self Assessment, cancel the return and remove the £100 penalty.
  • So that customers can speak to us if they need to, we are sending the penalty notices out over a two week period to spread the volume of calls this is anticipated to generate. This means that some customers may not receive their penalty notice until the end of February. To ensure all customers have at least 30 days to appeal, we will accept without question appeals sent to us by 31 March 2012. 
  • An appeal form has been sent with each penalty notice and all appeals should be sent in writing.
  • If customers have not yet filed, they should file online now. If they file on paper they will immediately be fined £100 and daily penalties as they are over 3 months late (31 October deadline).

We have also been working with the voluntary sector and other stakeholders to review how we manage appeals. We will be making every effort to ensure we review each appeal case sympathetically when considering if there is a reasonable excuse for late filing.

If customers are concerned about being able to pay what they owe, they can call us on 0845 302 1435 to discuss time to pay arrangements.

HMRC will also be sending a number of letters over the coming weeks to those customers that still haven’t contacted us, filed or paid. If customers continue not contact us or do not file and pay, HMRC will pursue them for their return, penalties and any outstanding debt.’

Technical Team

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