Public sector strike action has been given the go ahead for the
self-assessment filing deadline of 31 January.
More than 60% of members of the Public and Commercial Services Union voted
for the industrial action, which the union called over what it described as
failures to give assurances on job security, attempts at driving down pay and a
policy of outsourcing and privitisation.
The strike also includes a two-week overtime ban on staff.
‘If the government are going to avoid ongoing industrial action, starting
with disruption to the self assessment deadline then they need to give
assurances over jobs, services and privatisation as well as making serious
headway in tackling pay inequalities and low pay in the civil service and
related bodies,’ said Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary.
ICAEW tax faculty technical manager Anita Monteith urged filers to treat 29
January as deadline day, to avoid the potential of later filings being treated
as past the deadline.
‘We would also urge HMRC to reassure taxpayers that they will not be further
penalised because of the strike,’ said Monteith. ‘For example, the window for
formal enquiries by HMRC is currently 12 months if the form is received before
the deadline of 31st January. This time span increases, however, to a year and a
quarter if the form is late. An enquiry can cost both time and money to sort out
and many taxpayers could argue that they are being unfairly targeted outside the
normal time frame because of the civil service strike action on the normal
An HMRC spokesman said the department was ‘naturally disappointed’ about the
strike, but would do ‘everything we can to maintain our services to the public
‘The self assessment deadline remains 31 January and our advice to
self-assessment customers is the same as it is every year – please file as early
as possible and make payment on line if you can’, the spokesman added.
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