HMRC admits tax return penalty error

HMRC has been forced to admit that it issued penalty notices for late filing in error to hundreds self assessment taxpayers, just days after denying claims that this had occurred

Media reports at the weekend suggested some taxpayers were sent penalty notices, even though there are two weeks to go before the January 31 deadline and they had already submitted an online tax return. 

At the time, HMRC said that ‘any assertion we have sent early penalty notices to customers doing their returns online is false,’ claiming that the reports related to individuals who had missed the 31 October paper filing deadline.

However, the HMRC has now released updated information, admitting that 653 tax returns relating to trusts which were processed on a specific date, 2 January, were then erroneously subject to a £100 late filing penalty.

An HMRC spokesperson said: ‘Due to human error in processing some online trust returns a small number of trustees or agents have been inadvertently issued with late filing penalties.

‘All affected returns have been identified and the late filing penalties have been cancelled.

‘We apologise for any issues this may have caused our customers and are writing to them directly to let them know.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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