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A Collective Sigh Of Relief By Accountants Around The UK

The filing deadline has passed ...



We made it to February! There's a collective sigh of relief by accountants around the UK as the madness of the past few week's tax return melee comes to an end for another year ...

HMRC say thousands of tax returns are still outstanding!

HMRC say thousands of tax returns are still outstanding!

copyright: paulmaguire / 123rf stock photo

HMRC estimates that there were 746,000 tax returns still outstanding as the filing deadline passed. That's a lot of automatic £100 fines going out which is good for the treasuries coffers, but not for the individual's pockets.

"Are the automatic penalties
legal though?"

There was a discussion in the media this week that if an HMRC computer simply generates the penalty without intervention from a human being, that there is no legal basis for it and you won't have to pay. I'd like to see that argument stand up against the HMRC's lawyers though, it may be laughed out of court.

The Government is also thinking of changing the late-penalty system to a points-based one, just like you get with your driving license. Accrue a certain number of points and get fined, although the points would come off your account after a number of years. Not sure why they want to do that when the system works quite efficiently already.

So has the super blue blood moon chilled some people out so much that they are relaxed about missing the tax return filing deadline? I don't fully understand. Staying on the good side of HMRC is vital to being in business long-term.

I have had several people approach me over the last few months advising me that they are late with their Companies House filings, so I thought it is worth reminding ourselves what the penalties are:

  • Up to 1 month - £150

  • 1 to 3 months - £375

  • 3 to 6 months - £750

  • More than 6 months - £1,500

The penalties are now doubled if your accounts are late 2 years in a row!

Please, please, please ... if you are late with any tax returns, be they personal or corporate, do get in touch with me at Essendon and let's see how my team and I can help you.

"You are only wasting money by accruing fines and could end up in court!"

If you'd like to talk to me in confidence about getting your tax returns filed, do call me on 01908 774320 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how we can help you.

Until next time ...

Business Godparent

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More about Roger Eddowes ...

Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.

Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.