HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
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.

Monday, 20 February 2012

HMRC Issues Tax Return Penalties

As per the HMRC site:

"850,000 penalties for late tax returns will be issued over the next fortnight, 550,000 fewer than the same time last year, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) announced today.

Letters containing the £100 late-filing penalties are being sent to people who failed to send their 2010/11 Self Assessment returns to HMRC on time. 

Anyone who still hasn’t sent their return to HMRC should do so now or risk further penalties. For example, anyone whose return is more than three months late will be charged an additional £10 penalty for each day it remains outstanding, up to a maximum of 90 days.

Although the deadline for receiving online returns was 31 January, this year HMRC is not issuing penalties to people who sent their 2010/11 return online on 1 or 2 February, following strike action at HMRC’s call centres on 31 January.

People who get a late-filing penalty can appeal against it if they think they have a reasonable excuse for not sending back their tax return in time, or they think a penalty should not have been issued for any other reason. Appeals should be made in writing by 31 March.

Examples of a reasonable excuse could include a family illness or bereavement, or a delay in HMRC sending out an online activation code. More information is available at

Under a new initiative to help its customers, HMRC has confirmed that anyone who receives a penalty, but who believes they don’t need to be in Self Assessment, can call the department on 0845 900 0444. If HMRC agrees, the return and the penalty will be cancelled. Full details are contained in a leaflet that will accompany the penalty notice. Alternatively, visit for further information.

HMRC’s Stephen Banyard said:

“We want the returns, not the penalties. So anyone who still hasn’t sent theirs should do so as soon as possible.

“People who receive a penalty notice should act now to avoid further penalties. They should send in their return, appeal if they think they have a reasonable excuse, or contact us if they think they shouldn’t have been in Self Assessment.”

Notes for editors
1. The new penalties for late Self Assessment returns are:
  • an initial £100 fixed penalty, which will now apply even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time;
  • after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900;
  • after 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and
  • after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.
2. There are also additional new penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at: 30 days; 6 months; and 12 months.

3. Further information on the new penalties is available from the HMRC website at

4. Late appeals received after 31 March will be considered, if you can show that you had a reasonable excuse for missing this deadline.

5. Follow HMRC on Twitter at: @HMRCgovuk"

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  1. I accept I am stupid and mentally impaired (true) but now I am totally confused (not difficult), I understood £100 fines were being sent out regardless, for what and by when is another matter, but there was a post in January about a 'confusing HMRC letter', on this site

    but I though HMRC had sent letters out saying £100 fine was payable regardless...

    confused from England

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I think you mean 2nd of *Feb*, Ken.

    3. Doh!!

      Thanks, yes of course I do mean 2nd of FEB.

      Sorry for that, and thanks for pointing it out.

      I have deleted and re posted with correct date.

    4. If the return was submitted by end of 2nd of Feb there will be no late submission fine.

      There will be a £100 late submission fine for returns submitted after that date (even if no tax is due), unless a "reasonable excuse" for delay is claimed or the taxpayers claims (and HMRC accepts) that he/she does not need to file a self assessment submission.

  2. Barnyard is right, HMRC don't need the extra money from all those penalties, they have plenty of cash to flush down the loo. Don't believe me? The proof of the pudding is in the eating... sweetheart deals with Avoidafone and Goldman Sucks, wasted millions pursuing Redknapp, layer upon layer of useless management, PaceSetter and replacing functioning legacy IT systems with a great big white elephant that doesn't work and no-one understands.

    1. What do you think HMRC "do" with this money, from fines and penalties ?? It's not a private piggy bank, you know. There is no big government conspiracy to rake in loads of extra cash. And before you say that the government is broke etc etc, remember that these provisions would have been proposed long before the current financial crisis.
      What they ARE is a determined attempt to modify taxpayer behaviour, and force all business to be transacted,promptly,online. Don't need inconvenient,costly staff then,don'tcha know. Want help,or advice? It's called SELF assessment for a reason,dummy.