HMRC has now issued £100 late filing penalty notices to the 745,588 taxpayers who missed the deadline for filing their 2016/17 tax return by 31 January 2018.
HMRC has updated form SA370 – used to appeal against any late filing or late payment penalty – and the associated guidance. Appeals should be made within 30 days of the penalty notice but the return must be filed before HMRC will consider the appeal.
If a taxpayer does not meet the criteria for filing a self assessment tax return HMRC will agree to withdraw the tax return. Late filing penalties are automatically withdrawn in such cases.
The trigger date for the first 5% late payment penalty for unpaid self assessment amounts due for 2016/17 is Friday 2 March 2018. The penalty can be avoided by making payment by that date or by putting a formal time to pay arrangement in place by phoning HMRC on 0300 200 3822. Problems with self assessment statements not being issued and long delays in the processing of paper tax returns could mean that more taxpayers inadvertently miss making payments this year and agents may wish to check with their clients.
HMRC has also published guidance on its interpretation of the meaning of taking reasonable care when filing tax returns and other documents
Speaking as one who was convinced that I had filed but hadn't; it would have been a lot more useful to have had the HMRC email a week before rather than a week after. This is legal theft although much the same can be said of the tax system in general.