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Thousands of self-employed workers face HMRC fine

HMRC has announced that 745,588 people had failed to file their tax return before the January 31 deadline.

This figure was significantly lower than last year. Only 6.5% of the self-employed and private individuals who met the criteria for having to file a tax return filed to do so by the deadline, whereas last year, this figure stood at 7%.

Angela MacDonald, who is the Director General for Customer Services at HMRC, said:

“We want the number missing the deadline to be zero, and we will continue to adapt the process to make it easier and simpler for all our customers until every return is in on time and without avoidable errors.”

All of these late-filers will be fined an initial £100 – a penalty that applies even if no tax is actually owed. After that, for each day the person delays, they will be fined a further £10. This can be applied for a maximum of 90 days, so a total fine of £1,000 is possible.

For those that delay by six months, there is a further fine of £300 or 5% of the total tax due. The higher amount of the two options is what the taxpayer has to pay. Those that leave it for a whole year then face a further £300 fine or 5% of the tax that needs to be paid.

Understandably, at this time of the year, accountants from Eastham to Birkenhead pick up a lot of new clients who have let their tax affairs slip somewhat. Many self-employed people end up appreciating the wisdom of hiring an accountant to help them to manage their new businesses and stay within the law.

Posted by Mark
March 13, 2018

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