The Practitioner: More deadline days than Sky can cover…

SITTING WATCHING the transfer day deadline on Sky Go while working late in the office made me wish we only had a couple of deadline days in our business.

We are working late at the beginning of the month to try to push through some bills back into the earlier month.

Each month brings with it another deadline, Companies House, HMRC….

This morning I had one of those horrible sinking feelings while checking through the weekend post. HMRC had sent a penalty determination notice and had slapped £100 penalty on a client for failing to submit a company tax return on time. It was a brand new client and having to explain a penalty would not be a good start!

After spending a few minutes reading it through, however – but not after ranting and raging in the office – it transpired that HMRC were up to their old tricks. Why do they constantly issue penalty notices for return periods that are not due?

It always happens with newly incorporated companies, they totally ignore the returns we have submitted and write to us with penalties for fictional returns.

I have a mind to write back to them not only to politely ask them to wipe off the penalty and ‘update their records accordingly’ but also to issue them with a penalty notice of our own. 30 minutes of my time and 1 hour of a senior’s time, so a good £150 plus VAT should do it.

I’m sure we aren’t the only firm who has suffered this headache and time-wasting practice by HMRC.

There have been 513,998 incorporations in the year to 1 September 2013, so if HMRC are churning out 2 page penalty notices for every newly incorporated company that’s a hell a lot of paper, not to mention wasted staff time, and cost of postage!

I’ve got myself worked up enough now and convinced myself to send an invoice in to HMRC for time wasted having to respond to incorrect penalty notices.

I’ll let you know if they pay it.

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from within their own practice – having left a regional firm in the heart of England

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