Are HMRC dropping the £100 penalty?
2nd June 2015
A lot of news space was devoted this weekend to the apparent dropping by HMRC of the £100 automatic penalty for failing to meet the 31 January 2015 deadline for submitting 2013/14 tax returns, and this will be a relief for many people who had genuine reasons for missing the date, and also “let off” a lot of people who knowingly failed to meet it – as long as they can come up with some form of “reasonable” explanation then we are told that HMRC will be waiving the fine.
Many have commented that this will now be an invitation to the less efficient taxpayers to ignore the deadline in future, but it has to be seen in context with the proposals released by the taxman in February for changes in the way these penalties are levied with a view to punishing persistent late filers, and being more lenient for those who make an effort.
Difficult to see how any system can be 100% “fair”, but it looks pretty clear that deliberate late filers will not be given this year’s “let off” again.
Written by Peter Hedgethorne, Director at Plus Accounting