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HMRC 'accept very few excuses for late tax filing'

06th December 2010
By nickcampbell in Taxes
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Most consumers who are eligible to calculate their own tax do so carefully and diligently, taking advantage of an income tax calculator or another type of tax calculator to check they have not over or underestimated the amount they owe.

However, sometimes people miss the deadlines set for them by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and when this happens, they may be subject to financial penalties.

And the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group has noted that this government department accepts very few excuses for such tardiness.

It pointed out that those who do not conform to the various deadlines, which differ between the postal system and the online filing process, can incur fines of 100.

The organisation also stated that those who have missed the paper filing deadline, which was October 31st, have a number of ways in which they can proceed.

They can pursue this method now and ensure they pay all tax due by January 31st 2011, or they can file online by the same date.

Alternatively, they may file on paper if they have a reasonable excuse for being late and if they appeal against the ensuing penalty notice on those grounds.

It warned that such penalty notices are not issues until February, therefore "in the short term 'no news' is not necessarily 'good news'".

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The group added: "HMRC [has] a very restricted view of what constitutes a reasonable excuse. [It] will normally accept industrial action at the Post Office, loss of tax records through fire, flood or theft, serious illness which prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs (for example coma, heart attack, stroke), or death or serious illness of a close relative or domestic partner."

It is vital that individuals seek information and advice before completing their returns so they do not get their calculations wrong. Using an income tax calculator or another type of tax calculator can help with this.
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