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MSE News: 17,000 hit with incorrect late tax return fines

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This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Many taxpayers who filed a self assessment return on time have been wrongly threatened with a £100 fine ..."

Comments

  • Mikeyorks
    Mikeyorks Posts: 10,377 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    As there is no direct read across between payment and filing ..... it's a bit curious how :
    those who paid online on 14, 15 or 16 December last year

    ...... manages to translate into a late filing penalty?
    If you want to test the depth of the water .........don't use both feet !
  • chrismac1
    chrismac1 Posts: 2,585 Forumite
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    http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/article/hmrc-sends-17000-penalty-letters-error/524896

    Unless I am missing something, this is the start of a story which is going to run for some time. Another month another muck-up.
    Hideous Muddles from Right Charlies
  • Stephen_Leak
    Stephen_Leak Posts: 8,762 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 29 February 2012 at 8:59PM
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    Absolutely typical. They expect us to be 100%, under pain of more ad's by Moira Stewart. I never knew she could be so menacing. But then they **** up, all we get is a press statement.

    Whoever was responsible for the letters, which were harassment and illegal, should all be dismissed for gross incompetence. The recipients of the letters should receive £100 in compensation.

    Rant over. I feel so much better now. Nurse! :)
    The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in my life. :)
  • Mikeyorks
    Mikeyorks Posts: 10,377 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 29 February 2012 at 9:25PM
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    chrismac1 wrote: »
    Unless I am missing something,

    Indeed.

    As I said in post #2 - I can't envisage how 'payments' not brought to account can possibly translate to a 'late tax return' fine. There's no logical link.

    And a quick look at the accountingweb article shows that the heading ('17000 penalty letters in error') bears no relationship to the described problem. Which is the standard 'payment' reminder and nothing to do with late filing penalties. It doesn't need much knowledge to realise that 'payment penalties' only commenced at close of business last night. So too early for that.

    It's no credit to HMRC. But you would think MSE ( source 'The Sun'!!) and accountingweb (a bunch of accountants!) would check their sources and accuracy a little better. In particular as the latter source has a precise description of the problem (as opposed to the reason) from an HMRC source :

    "We have recently been made aware that SA359 (Payment Reminder) may have been issued to some customers who have paid their 2010/11 balancing payment on time. This problem has arisen because payments received on the 14 to 16th December, although credited to the correct customer accounts, were not allocated to outstanding charges until after the reminders had been selected for issue.

    Those credits have since been allocated to the charges prior to the February SA Statement run, and you can therefore ignore the demand and give this explanation to your client. "
    If you want to test the depth of the water .........don't use both feet !
  • John_Pierpoint
    John_Pierpoint Posts: 8,391 Forumite
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    For those of you who have not had the privilege of being warned that there will be a 5% surcharge on its way, here is the document in question (You can zoom in to turn it into A4 size).

    http://www.effectivedesign.org.uk/2009/pdf/print/hmrc.pdf

    If I erroneously got one of these, I would be scrabbling about making sure I had printed off the receipt for my payment and checking that the system had sent me an acknowledgement. Then I would be muttering here we go again at the prospect of a correspondence, or more accurately a one sided dialogue of "Why have you not replied to my letter of.......".

    Now if I was an accountant with a bunch of clients whose tax I had paid just before Xmas (why?) I would be chewing my elbows.
  • Rockitman
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    "Many taxpayers who filed a self assessment return on time have been wrongly threatened with a £100 fine ..."

    Yes, I had that threat despite 'Completing' an online form early January, and printing it off showing the receipt number at the bottom (and the tax rebate I was owed :o).

    Apparently I didn't 'Complete' the process and get an official receipt (showing the same receipt number); as I found when I checked after receiving the surprise letter. So much for online automation....

    "Make completing your tax return easy. Simply go to ..... and just ..... and it's done!:rotfl:"

    Or not.

    Well come on; the tax man has to make an extra buck somehow, doesn't he! Wonder if he'd do gift-aid, as I've paid tax on that already?


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