As the 31 January tax return deadline approaches, tax experts have warned
people not to file online at the last minute in case HMRC’s systems crash.
Francesca Lagerberg, tax chief at Grant Thornton, said: “A record number of
taxpayers are expected to file online this year, an increase of 5.8m compared to
“Those who plan to file online should ensure they have prepared the relevant
documentation and have not left it too late to avoid being caught up in the last
minute rush. HMRevenue & Customs’ servers have been known to crash due to
the increased number of people who will be filing online.”
Those expected to to submit an online self assessment tax return for 2008/09
by the 31 January include anyone who is self-employed, who receives income from
more than one source or who is a higher-rate taxpayer.
The deadline for filing a paper tax return was 31 October 2009 and those who
send a paper tax return may now incur a £100 penalty.
“The deadline this year falls on a Sunday.” Lagerberg added.
“This does not mean that HMRC will be less strict in handing out fines. Last
year an estimated one million people had to pay the taxman £100 for a late
submission. In the current economic climate it would be a shame to incur an
easily avoidable £100 penalty,”
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