This week we’ve learnt that HMRC has apologised to over 12,000 tax payers who were incorrectly given a £100 fine for non-filing of Self Assessment Tax Returns.
HMRC’s blunder came about after 130,000 individuals were told they longer needed to complete a tax return. Their tax affairs were simple and payments via PAYE were sufficient to collect their tax. Of these 130,000 tax payers who were told they didn’t need to complete a return, 12,000 then went on to receive a £100 penalty fine from HMRC.
To make matters worse, these unlucky individuals are now being fined an additional £10, every day.
HMRC have recognised the error and are working to resolve it:
“We are very sorry and can reassure these customers that we know who they are and that this letter is incorrect – they do not owe a penalty. We are writing to all of them to apologise and to explain this error.”
But the drama doesn’t end here. The BBC reported yesterday on the challenge of getting through to the HMRC telephone helpline. We too can confirm this problem: over the last year the number of our clients complaining about long waits and automated messages has risen dramatically. As well as providing extra resources to tackle tax evasion we want to see HMRC doing more to help the majority of lawful tax payers.
If you believe you shouldn’t be taking part in Self Assessment or you’ve been fined please do get in touch – we’ll be happy to help. However we don’t have a magic hotline to HMRC: a long wait on the telephone is unfortunately inevitable.