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HMRC Analyses Late Tax Returns by Region Print E-mail
Personal Taxes
Written by HM Revenue & Customs   
Monday, 20 January 2014 00:00

HM Revenue & Customs has broken down Self Assessment taxpayer by region, and finds that it's Londoners who have the poorest record when it comes to late filing.

Londoners are more likely to miss the tax return deadline than taxpayers in any other part of the UK, figures released today by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reveal.

Around one in nine (11 per cent) of the 560,000 people in Inner London who had to send in a tax return last year didn’t do so by the relevant deadline – 31 October for paper returns and 31 January for online submissions.

The one million taxpayers in Outer London were more punctual, with one in 11 (9 per cent) failing to meet the deadline, but they were still the second worst offenders. The tardiest taxpayers outside of London were in the North West of England, with 8 per cent of their 890,000 returns failing to meet the deadline.

Taxpayers in the rest of the English regions fared better. The most punctual were in the South West, with only 6 per cent of their one million tax returns arriving late. The other English regions, as well as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, all registered 7 per cent of late tax returns, which was the UK national average.

The UK Self Assessment filing populations on which the figures are based are as follows:

  • Inner London – 560,000;
  • Outer London – 990,000;
  • North West – 890,000;
  • East Midlands – 640,000;
  • West Midlands – 750,000;
  • East of England – 1,040,000;
  • South East– 1,710,000;
  • South West – 1,000,000;
  • Yorkshire & The Humber – 680,000;
  • North East – 270,000;
  • Northern Ireland – 240,000;
  • Scotland – 660,000; and
  • Wales – 400,000.
  • HMRC Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said:

    “Whether you’re from London, Livingston, Lisburn or Llandudno, the consequences of missing the tax return deadline are the same – an automatic £100 late-filing penalty.

    The longer you delay, the more you have to pay. So if you still have to send us your tax return, take action now.”

    Around 10.9 million people are expected send a tax return for the 2012-13 tax year. Anyone with an outstanding 2012-13 tax return must send it online, and pay any tax they owe, by 31 January. Visit HMRC’s website at www.hmrc.gov.uk to register for Self Assessment and file your online tax return for free. Using a search engine to find HMRC’s online filing service can produce results which include third party websites that charge to file on your behalf.

    Therefore, if you want to file for free, type the HMRC website address directly into your internet browser’s web address bar.

    For general help and advice on completing a return, visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa 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).

    The penalties for late Self Assessment returns are:

    • an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time;
    • after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900;
    • after 6 months, a further penalty of 5 per cent of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and
    • 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.

     
    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
    HMRC
    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
    HMRC
    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

    Notes

    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. 
     
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