HMRC issued incorrect penalty notices, says Baker Tilly

HM Revenue and Customs has issued thousands of incorrect penalty notices for
late personal and partnership tax returns, Baker Tilly has claimed.

The mid-tier firm said clients whose returns were filed before the 31 January
deadline received incorrect notices, and when contacted by the firm’s
representatives, HMRC said the complaint would be ‘added to the growing pile.’

George Bull, national head of tax at Baker Tilly, said taxpayers don’t need
additional financial stress in what is already a difficult time for many.

‘The £100 penalty, albeit small financially, can turn into a major
administrative burden. Judging by the complaints we have already received, and
the feedback from the HMRC, this problem could affect thousands of taxpayers,’
he said.

According to Bull, the same problem occured in April 2008 when the department
acknowledged that complications with the online filing system had caused them to
issue penalty notices in error.

‘Taxpayers are being caused unnecessary worry and expense by HMRC’s inability
to get this right,’ he said.

A spokesman for HMRC said: ‘We apologise to any of our customers who have
received a penalty notice in error. There is no question of anyone having to pay
a penalty if their return was filed on time. When a penalty notice has been
issued in error we will apologise and put matters right straight away. The
penalty notice itself tells people what to do if they do not know why they have
received a penalty notice.’

Further Reading:

sees record online filing response

online returns slump in the US

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