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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
HMRC Lifts Embargo On Talking To BBC About Troops In Afghanistan
I am very pleased to see the very active level of comments from some of my loyal readers about my recent highlighting of a BBC News item about troops serving in Afghanistan being fined by HMRC if they submit their tax returns late.
Indeed one of you was so keen to put his/her viewpoint across, that he/she posted 14 times in the last 24 hours!
Anyhoo, you will doubtless be pleased to learn that HMRC have lifted their self imposed embargo on talking to the BBC about the issue.
AccountingWeb reports the following:
"British armed forces personnel in active service who have failed to file their tax return in time will have their penalties cancelled as a ‘Reasonable Excuse’ if they get in touch HMRC.
Paul Lewis said:
“HMRC refused to talk about this all week, but on Saturday morning at 11.30, [half an hour before Moneybox was broadcast], they told us if armed forces let us know, we will immediately cancel penalties.
They will accept serving in Afghanistan as a Reasonable Excuse.
An HMRC spokesperson also told AccountingWEB:
“For a service person who is serving with the military in Afghanistan, we appreciate that they have higher priorities than filling out their tax return. They’re in a fairly unique position, a combat position, and obviously that has to come first for them, and we completely understand and support that.
“So if they couldn’t complete the return by 31 January the penalty notice would be automatically generated by the system. However, if the service person contacts us as soon as they can to point out that they didn’t complete it because they were on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, we would cancel that penalty notice.
HMRC confirmed that while there is a 30-day deadline to appeal, they will “apply common sense”, and this will be waived for those serving in Afghanistan.
“You’re supposed to appeal within 30 days, but again we know that being on active service in Afghanistan is a pretty unique position, so we would be very flexible about that and as soon as they got in touch we would make sure they didn’t have anything to pay.
The advice is, don’t wait for penalty - send a letter in to accompany your late return."
Tax does have to be taxing.
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