Had problems filing your tax return on time?

It will come as little surprise that, once again, an HMRC online system crashed an important time of year. This time it was the self assessment online service that was disrupted on 31 January 2008 and 1 February 2008.

In response to these problems, HMRC have announced that any return (whether online or paper) received by midnight on 1 February 2008 would be treated as filed on time and so no penalty will be issued.

In addition, where taxpayers experienced problems with the service and were unable to file by midnight on 1 February 2008, HMRC will remove any late filing penalty and treat the return as filed on time where the problems with the HMRC service were the cause of the delay and the return was filed within a reasonable period afterwards.

In addition, penalty notices should not be issued for: 

  • online returns filed using the HMRC software on 2 and 3 February 2008; and
  • paper returns received in local offices by close of business on 4 February 2008.

Finally, where a return is filed within a reasonable period and the delay was due to the problems with the HMRC service, HMRC will also remove the penalty for online returns filed on 4 February 2008, or later, and paper returns filed on 5 February 2008, or later.

As previously mentioned, it is not unusual for HMRC penalties to be issued in error. If this is the case or if there is a reasonable excuse for the delay in sending in the return, penalties can be reduced or even waived altogether.

If you receive a penalty notice that you believe is wrong, please get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can resolve the matter for you.

Internet Link: HMRC advice

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