Those who fail to file their 1998/99 tax returns by today are liable for a £100 fine, which can be reduced only if the tax due is less than £100 or the taxpayer has an excuse for late delivery.
However, according to the English ICA’s tax faculty, no penalty will be charged if returns ‘are received in the post, or by hand, at any time on Tuesday February 1 of if they are in the post box of the Tax Office by 7.30am on Wednesday 2 2000.
However, others are warning small businesses that they could be in for a nasty surprise because even if they submit returns in time they could be rejected and the taxpayer will be asked to pay the £100 penalty.
This is because in previous years self-employed people have been allowed to submit provisional figures due to pressure of work, their accountant’s pressure of work or the complexity of their affairs.
Tax specialist John Cheetham, quoted on Digita.com, has said the new guidelines came to light only recently after a meeting with tax inspectors.
A Revenue spokesman admitted it had tightened up a loophole which had become common practice.
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