Higher-rate taxpayers offered self assessment amnesty

HIGHER-RATE taxpayers who have failed to submit tax returns are being afforded the opportunity to come forwards and pay their share under a campaign launched by the taxman.

The so-called self-assessment amnesty, launched on 3 July, is specifically designed for taxpayers liable to pay rates at 40% and above. In particular, it is for those who have been told to submit a self-assessment tax return for 2009/10 or earlier, but have not done so. At this point, there is no projected figure for how much HMRC expect the drive to generate.

The opportunity is also open to anyone who is yet to submit returns for other years.

The scheme is open until 2 October for anyone who wants to disclose to HMRC any liability they may have, submit completed returns, and pay outstanding tax and national insurance contributions.

By coming forwards voluntarily through the campaign, customers will receive better terms, and any penalty they pay will be lower than if HMRC comes to them first.

After 2 October, HMRC will use its powers to pursue outstanding returns, unpaid tax and national insurance if they have not submitted their tax returns and paid what they owe. Penalties could include fines of up to 100% of tax due and criminal proceedings.

Marian Wilson, head of HMRC campaigns, said: “This campaign is part of a wider HMRC initiative to provide support and guidance to the public on tax obligations and is aimed at people who fail to submit their tax returns on time and pay what they owe.

“Our aim is to make it easy for them to contact us and send in completed tax returns, putting their affairs in order.

“Penalties will be higher if we come and find people after the opportunity and some could face a criminal investigation. I urge people to come forwards and disclose unpaid tax voluntarily”.

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