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IR35 Intermediaries Legislation: Deadline for Final Figures is 31 January Print E-mail
Business Tax
Written by Lee Sharpe   
Monday, 20 January 2014 00:00

HM Revenue & Customs has issued a reminder to businesses which have so far made only provisional Employer P35 returns for 2012/13, that they need to have finalised the position and paid any outstanding amount by 31 January, in order to avoid any penalties. (Interest will be charged between 19 April 2013 and 31 January 2014: this is just to avoid any penalties).

This arrangement is for "IR35" businesses which were unable to finalise their employers' return by the normal due date but instead made an estimated return at the time. An amended return now needs to be filed, together with any balancing payment required, if any. Otherwise, HMRC will consider the provisional return originally submitted, to be the final version.

Further information is at IR35 - Deadline for Full Returns and Payments

Revenue reveals ‘Top 10 Oddest Excuses’ for Late Tax Returns Print E-mail
Written by HM Revenue & Customs   
Friday, 03 January 2014 00:00

With the 31 January tax return deadline just around the corner, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed the ‘Top 10 oddest excuses’ for sending in a late return.

The following bizarre, exotic and flimsy excuses have all been used by tardy taxpayers:

  1. My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder);
  2. I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer);
  3. After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman);
  4. My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader);
  5. My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser);
  6. I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play (Coventry writer);
  7. My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is (a working taxi driver);
  8. I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land (South East man);
  9. Our business doesn’t really do anything (Kent financial services firm); and
  10. I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (London accountant).

All of these people and businesses received a £100 penalty from HMRC for filing late. They appealed against the decision using these excuses, but were unsuccessful.

HMRC’s Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said: 

“There will always be unforeseen events that mean a taxpayer could not file their tax return on time. However, your pet goldfish passing away isn’t one of them.”

 If you haven’t yet sent your 2012/13 tax return to HMRC, you need to do it online and pay the tax you owe by the end of January. With all the help and advice available, there’s no excuse not to.”

To send an online tax return, you must be registeredfor HMRC Online Services. This involves HMRC sending you anActivation Code in the post, so allow a few days for this to arrive.To register for HMRC Online Services go to Online Services and follow the on-screen instructions.

For general help and advice on completing a return, visit Self Assessment or call the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8.00am to 8.00pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8.00am to 4.00pm on Saturdays).

Penalties for Late Returns or Payment

The penalties for late Self Assessment returns are:

  1. an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, (subject to there being a reasonable excuse), or if the tax due is paid on time;
  2. after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900;
  3. after 6 months, a further penalty of 5 per cent of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and
  4. after 12 months, another 5 per cent or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5 per cent of the tax unpaid at: 30 days; 6 months; and 12 months.

Many Happy (Tax) Returns at Christmas Print E-mail
Written by HM Revenue & Customs   
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 00:00

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed that 1,566 people found time during the Christmas Day festivities to send an online tax return.

The figure represents a 1 per cent increase on the 1,548 people who filed online on Christmas Day 2012.

The busiest filing hour on Christmas Day was just before lunch, from midday to 1pm, when 144 people hit the send button on their completed return.

This followed 17,000 individuals who booted up their computers, got their financial information together and sent an online tax return on Christmas Eve. This was up 19 per cent on the 14,330 returns received on 24 December 2012. 

The Boxing Day holiday saw another 4,493 people send their tax return over the internet – a 4 per cent fall from the 4,685 received last year.

In total, 23,059 online returns were received over the three-day period – up 12 per cent on the 2012 total of 20,563.

RTI: Package of Help for Micro Businesses Operating PAYE in Real Time Print E-mail
Business Tax
Written by HM Revenue & Customs   
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 00:00

More than 99 per cent of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) records are now successfully being reported in real time, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced today as it launched a package of support for micro businesses.

Almost 93 per cent of employers, and nearly 99 per cent of employers with 10 or more employees, are now using the new process to send PAYE information about their employees in real time, and the majority are finding the new system easy to use.

HMRC is offering a continued package of support for micro businesses (with nine or fewer employees) who need more time to adapt to reporting PAYE information in real time. This will allow them to report PAYE information on or before the last payday in the month, rather than every payday, until April 2016.

This is narrower than the existing relaxation to real time reporting, which applies to employers with up to 49 employees and will end, as planned, in April 2014. The existing relaxation allows employers to report as late as the end of the tax month of payment, which means that (for instance) salaries paid after 6 January can be reported as late as 5 February. Employers who are already reporting PAYE information on or before the date they pay their employees should continue to do so. And HMRC will be encouraging and supporting micro businesses to adapt their processes to move to payday-by-payday reporting as soon as possible.

All employers will have to report PAYE on or before the date they pay their employees by April 2016.

The package was developed with employer, agent and payroll software representatives and the Department for Work and Pensions, to help micro employers as they move towards reporting PAYE information in real time.

The package, which applies only to existing employers, also includes:

  • improved guidance, including best practice scenarios 
  • working with the software industry to harness technology to develop new ways to report PAYE information on or before the date employers pay their employees – for example, by exploring the use of mobile apps.

Real Time Information (RTI) will support the operation of Universal Credit, which brings together means-tested in and out-of-work benefits.

HMRC’s Director General for Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said:

“The vast majority of employers are now successfully reporting PAYE in real time and are finding it easier to do this than they expected. But we appreciate that for some micro employers it has presented challenges for them to meet the deadlines. This package strikes a good balance by ensuring RTI improves PAYE processes while minimising the impact on micro businesses and their agents by giving them up to two years to adapt.”
For more information go to: PAYE Real Time Information: Package of Help Announced for Micro Employers


  1. Real Time Information (RTI) represents the biggest change to the payroll system in over 60 years. It is designed to reflect the labour market fluidity of the 21st century and deliver improved accuracy to employers and employees. RTI means employers and pension providers report deductions and payments they make to HMRC at the time they are made, rather than after the end of the tax year, as was the case before. This enables the tax system to better ensure the right tax is being taken at source.
  2. The RTI pilot was launched in April 2012 with just 10 employers and, by the end of the pilot on 5 April 2013, over six million individual records were being reported in real time.
  3. In March 2013 HMRC announced a temporary relaxation for employers with 1 – 49 employees. This followed extensive consultation and recognised that some small employers needed longer to adapt to reporting PAYE information in real time. This relaxation, which will come to an end in April 2014, allows employers with fewer than 50 employees to send PAYE information to HMRC by the end of the tax month in which the payments are made (a tax month always ends on the 5th of a calendar month).
  4. The new narrower relaxation announced today:
    • will only apply to employers with 10 or fewer employers
    • applies only to existing employers. Employers starting to operate PAYE later than 5 April 2014, as well as existing employers with 10 or more employees, will need to report each time they pay their employees from April 2014
    • employers who qualify for the new narrower relaxation will need to report their PAYE information on or before the last payday in the tax month, rather than by the end of the tax month. 
Draft Finance Bill 2014 to be Published Tuesday 10 December Print E-mail
Written by Lee Sharpe   
Monday, 09 December 2013 00:00

HMRC has advised that draft clauses of the 2014 Finance Bill will be published on Tuesday 10 December, on HMRC's section of the .GOV website

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