Late self-assessors yet to receive £100 penalties

Freelance sole traders who were late submitting their self-assessment tax return on January 31st but who have not been stung for £100 should resist thinking that they have got away with it.

In an update, HMRC says that due to Brexit contingency planning, it has decided to delay the issuing of late-filing penalty notices, potentially as late as the end of April 2019.

The notices will reach late-filers sooner however, if the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement is agreed, the tax authority said in Agent Update Issue 70.

Outlining the thinking behind the delay, which will not affect the issuing of daily penalties to paper self-assessors who have still not filed three months after their deadline, HMRC pointed to staffing.

In particular, the usual February issuing of the late-filing £100 notices “creates considerable demand into our call centres and back offices,” as taxpayers tend to ring HMRC to consider their options.

“Individuals who filed late will still be charged the penalty; but the notice will be delivered later than normal,” the Revenue also said. “This year, we expect an increased demand in our call centres as the UK leaves the EU, so we intend to delay the issue of these notices”.

 

25th February 2019

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