HMRC admits penalties issued in error

HMRC has admitted that it issued penalty notices for late filing in error to hundreds of self assessment taxpayers, just days after denying claims that this had occurred.

Reports in the media had suggested some taxpayers were sent penalty notices two weeks before the January 31 deadline; some had already submitted an online tax return.

HMRC initially claimed that “any assertion we have sent early penalty notices to customers doing their returns online is false”, claiming that the reports related to individuals who had missed the 31 October paper filing deadline.

However, the Revenue has since admitted that 653 tax returns relating to trusts that were processed on a specific date – 2 January – were then erroneously subject to a £100 late filing penalty.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “Due to human error in processing a small number of trustees or agents have been inadvertently issued with late filing penalties. All affected returns have been identified and the late filing penalties have been cancelled.

“We apologise for any issues this may have caused our customers and are writing to them directly to let them know.”

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