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Oh Dear: Late filing could lead to more penalties

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    Oh Dear: Late filing could lead to more penalties

    Draconian penalties for late filing of tax returns could be on their way as the Revenue fails to meet its targets for self assessment returns filed on time.
    A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) reveals that more than £1 billion is owed in overdue income tax returns with young men, self-employed builders and people living in London the worst culprits.

    The Revenue has a target to increase the percentage of returns filed on time to 93 per cent by January 2008. Despite attempts to simplify the self-assessment process, the NAO's report shows the percentage of returns filed on time has been between 90 and 91 per cent in each of the past four years.

    The NAO's report found that more than a million forms were overdue last year, many from 'untraceable' tax payers. The Reveue has launched a review of its penalty system after the NAO said the current regime is not working.

    At the moment, people that file their tax return after the 31 January deadline face a maximum £100 fine or the amount of tax owed, if less than £100.

    It is reported that HM Customs and Revenue are considering measure which include fining late filers a percentage of the tax owed, increasing the automatic £100 fine, imposing a fine even if the taxpayer subsequently shows no tax is owed or basing the fine on the taxpayer's net income. It could also make greater use of the little-used £60 daily fines, which, according to the NAO, 'would be particularly appropriate for wealthy late or non filers to whom a £100 penalty may have no deterrent impact.'

    HM Customs and Revenue is also attempting to make the form simpler and easier for people to return. Measures include a new four-page form for those with more straightforward financial affairs and a greater use of online filing.

    Sir John Borne, head of the NAO said: "The changes being made by the Revenue to simplify income tax self-assessment tax returns should ease the burden for many taxpayers. No less important is that those who persistently fail to submit tax returns be brought to book."
    Discuss, abuse Chico and/or Franco, whatever....

    #2
    and how do they suggest they recover the £100 fine from those untraceable taxpayers?
    :lol

    Comment


      #3
      A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) reveals that more than £1 billion is owed in overdue income tax returns with young men, self-employed builders and people living in London the worst culprits
      Now there's a surprise.

      Reality: HMRC is, like the majority of government departments, composed of useless muppets. Their IT systems are a complete mess (a patchwork of unsupported legacy systems held together by Excel spreadsheets).

      Comment


        #4
        Despite attempts to simplify the self-assessment process
        Has anybody noticed this? Seems to me the tax return gets more complex every year, not less.

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          #5
          This years is much less complex for most people. It's only 4 pages. Unfortunately Co Directors still get the full one.

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            #6
            I suspect that is just a veil of simplicity though, i.e. it is the taxpayer's responsibility to know they should have had the complex rather than the simple form, and they will be penalised if they get it wrong.

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              #7
              But if you don't OWE any tax

              An interesting sideline:-

              For years now a friend of mine has been dumping his tax returns in a pile along with other compostable material. I think the total demanded in terms of penalties for non completion now runs into four figures.

              However, in tiny print in a booklet that comes with all this junk mail is an admission that the total penalty that can be levied can never exceed 100% of the total tax actually due.

              Sunny Jim is actually owed one pound forty five pence in over paid tax from previous years which these buggers have never paid despite being repeatedly asked for payment by cheque. In fact it was their non repayment of the overpayment that led to the decision that it clearly wasn't worth bothering with the paper chase in the first place.

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                #8
                Re: But if you don't OWE any tax

                I recall a barrister some years ago going through a messy divorce where the (ex) wife let slip that he deliberately hadn't filed a tax return for over 6 years.

                It would appear that the trick is to disappear off the Revenues radar completely


                Also all these "self employed builders" that the Revenue cannot trace...they wouldn't be the Eastern Europe imports that the Government, CBI & BOE keep banging on about as being salvation to the economy could they?

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                  #9
                  Re: But if you don't OWE any tax

                  the (ex) wife let slip that he deliberately hadn't filed a tax return for over 6 years
                  Wouldn't the wife be guilty of knowing about criminal activity without reporting it?

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                    #10
                    Re: But if you don't OWE any tax

                    Re: If you owe no tax

                    Velvet, I guess this is why HMCR is to start...
                    imposing a fine even if the taxpayer subsequently shows no tax is owed or basing the fine on the taxpayer's net income
                    It's only "fair", you see.

                    Comment

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