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.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Spurious HMRC Fine

A loyal reader has written to me about a problem that she is having with HMRC, wrt her tax return and a seemingly spurious fine of £600.

She has given me permission to post her letter on this site:
"Hi, I thought it appropriate to let you know about my experience, as it may be happening to many others.

I completed my tax return late - on 1st May. Granted although I didn't earn enough to pay any tax, I copped for the 100 penalty. However, I did submit my tax return and got a long receipt number, which I wrote down manually.

I was very concerned when I got a letter a few week later to say that my tax return had still not been received. I have been unable to get through on their telephone system as I was kept hanging on for age, with no indication how long it would take to get through. I therefore wrote to HMRC to state that I had indeed submitted my return, the time and date and I provided them with my receipt number. I asked them to explain why my return was not on their system and to advise me what to do, as I would prefer not to complete it again.

Several weeks later they have not acknowledged my letter and are now trying to charge me £600! If they had responded to my letter and advised that my return could not be found on their system I could at least have re-done my return at a much earlier stage. Now I am panicking, as I don\'t have that kind of money and this penalty is not warranted by any means.

I would be interested to know if there are many other people facing this predicament."
Has anyone else experienced a similar problem this year?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. They are now dealing with 4 month old post. They have caught up a bit. It's called 'Post Recovery'. I don't think she will receive a reply very soon. As to the penalty, surely most people most people know by now the penalties are no longer tax geared? The fact that no tax is due does not matter at all. The penalty is still due. After the 6 April, a common error is someone submitting the later year's return thinking it is the earlier one. i.e. has she submitted the 2015 return thinking it's the 2014? This would explain the daily penalties.

  2. The poster above is more than likely correct, if the lady in question filed a return in May 2015, it will more than likely have been filed as a 2015 tax return. All she needs to do is log into her account and file the return for 2014 and amend her 2015 as necessary. At least she will have got her 2015 return in good time, albiet accidentally! She can then write in and appeal against her penalty and as long as the 2014 one is filed this time the penalties will be cancelled.

    1. Best to file a paper tax return by courier after taking a copy. If more did this then the grinding UK tax system might fail under the weight of unopened post.