HMRC rakes in £89 million in tax return penalties

HMRC rakes in £89 million in tax return penalties

Date03 Feb 2015
Posted ByAdmin

HMRC has raked in £89 million in one fell swoop from UK tax payers who failed to file their 2013/14 tax return on midnight 31 January this year, it has emerged.

As many as 890,000 people faced an immediate £100 penalty for failing to file on time, including higher earners with savings, people with several sources of income, self-employed individuals, contractors, freelancers and landlords. 

They will also need to pay a flat £10 a day up to a 90 day maximum if their tax return is outstanding in 3 months’ time.  If they don’t file by July 31, the bill would stand at £900 plus 5% of the tax due or £300 penalty whichever is the greater for being 6 months late.  After 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

These rules apply not just for those that owe tax to HMRC but also to those who do not owe but had to file a return.

Alan McCappin of Bradleys Accountants says, “The penalties will mount up quickly. Anyone who hasn’t filed yet, needs to do so urgently.”

If anyone has a genuine reason for failing to file, HMRC will accept a reasonable excuse. This includes

  • a serious illness which leaves you incapable of filing a return
  • death of a partner or close relative just around the deadline
  • problems with HMRC’s online filing process
  • loss of documents due to through theft, fire or flood

However, if you plan to offer any excuse you’d need to back it up with contemporaneous evidence like a doctor’s letter in case of an illness or a screenshot of the error message while trying to file through the HMRC portal.

We are still taking enquiries and will assist where we can.  Please email some details to or call Jean on 020 8303 1287.  You can also tweet your queries to @BradleysAcc twitter feed too.