Home Business News HMRC to fine over 1m people with fines totalling £110m for missing self assessment deadline

HMRC to fine over 1m people with fines totalling £110m for missing self assessment deadline

by Amy Johnson LLB Finance Reporter
6th Feb 24 10:32 am

The latest analysis by finance experts, RIFT, estimates that the 1.1 million to have missed yesterday’s self-assessment deadline are in line to be hit with initial fines to the tune of £110m by HMRC.

The latest Government data shows that a record-breaking 11.5 million people submitted a self assessment for the 2022-2023 tax year before midnight on the 31st January 2024 – 32,958 of those doing so in the last hour before the deadline expired.

This marked an increase of an estimated 230,673 people who successfully filed in time when compared to last year.

However, it’s also estimated 1.1 million people missed the deadline.

That’s 100,000 more people than last year who failed to complete their tax return on time, accounting for 9% of total tax returns due – up from 8.3% the previous year.

Seven tips to get your Self Assessment tax return right

The penalty for filing a late self assessment is £100 with this fine increasing if it’s not completed beyond three months of the deadline.

That means that the 1.1 million taxpayers who failed to complete their self assessment by the end of January will now be fined to the tune of at least £110 million by HMRC.

However, they could be liable for a range of further penalties for late filing or payment which generally increase in severity over time.

Late filing; missing the deadline results in an automatic £100 penalty; at 3 months, a daily penalty of £10 for up to 90 days (max £900) will be incurred; at 6 months 5% of tax is due, or £300 if greater; while at 12 months, 5% of tax is due, or £300 if greater, unless the taxpayer is held to be deliberately withholding information that would enable HMRC to assess the tax due.

Late payment; being 30 days late will result in a penalty of 5% of tax due; at 6 months, late payers will face 5% of tax outstanding at that date; while at 12 months late, HMRC will decide the penalty based on behaviour.

In this case, deliberate and concealed withholding would result in a penalty of 100% of tax due, or £300 if greater – while deliberate but not concealed would result in a penalty of 70% of tax due, or £300 if greater. Notably, reductions will also apply for prompted and unprompted disclosures and telling, giving, and helping.

Bradley Post, MD of RIFT, said, “A record number of people are now completing a self assessment tax return and the majority managed to do so before the 31st January deadline expired, albeit some only made it by the skin of their teeth.

However, 1.1 million people also missed the deadline and now face an initial £100 fine which will start to ramp up should they fail to complete their self assessment within the next three months.

This equates to an increase of 100,000 more people missing the deadline versus last year with HMRC expected to dish out fines to the tune of at least £110 million.

It’s fair to say that many taxpayers will feel aggrieved at this given that there has been less support from HMRC in the run up to the self assessment deadline.

Just recently, HMRC made the decision to close their helpline ahead of the January self assessment deadline, with those in need of advice left to use HMRC’s online chat service.

This move has now potentially impacted over a million people, many of whom will have been undertaking the task of completing a self-assessment for the first time.”

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