HMRC admit to penalty error with early filing tax payers

February 20, 2019


The HMRC have had to make an embarrassing about turn, after strongly denying any mistakes had been made in sending out unwarranted fines to early filing tax payers.


Problems with the self-assessment tax returns have been frequently raised, and reported on, by both the media and professional bodies, with the most recent problem of incorrect late filing penalties being widely publicized by the BBC.


Some returns filed on the 2nd January 2019, almost a month in advance of the deadline, were incorrectly processed due to a human error and penalty notices of £100 were awarded to over 600 taxpayers. 


However, when originally asked to respond to the claim, the HMRC strongly denied any mistake on their part.  They have now ‘about-turned’ as they discovered that not only had the penalties been sent out to taxpayers who had correctly filed their returns, but that they had also been sent before the 31 January deadline.


The BBC stated that 653 incorrect penalty notices had been raised.  The HMRC has now admitted the mistake and has written to all those affected to assure them that the notices have now been cancelled.


But this is not all as further problems with the 2017/18 self-assessment filing system have also been widely reported including:



  • Payments on account for 2018/19 that have not been included on taxpayer’s statements

  • Capital Gains Tax payments that have not been included on taxpayer’s statements for 2018

  • Some Scottish taxpayers have had incorrect calculations made due to HMRC treating them as being a resident in the rest of the UK

  • In-year adjustments to PAYE codes have been recorded incorrectly by HMRC software and treated as brought-forward underpayments


HMRC confirmed last week (28th January 2019) that the glitches have been fixed, but anyone with concerns should contact their tax advisor to ensure that the problems have been fully resolved.


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