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How many taxpayers will miss the self-assessment filing deadline?

How many taxpayers will miss the self-assessment filing deadline?

Accountants for contractors may want to remind their clients that the deadline for filing self-assessment income tax returns is fast approaching.

Last week, HMRC said it had received 1.8 million paper returns by the 31st October and a further 4.5 million online self-assessment returns. However, that left around 3 million people who still need to submit or receive an automatic £100 penalty for missing the deadline.

Even if there is no tax owing, HMRC must receive a return from the taxpayer by the 31st of January. In addition to the automatic late filing penalty, further charges will be levied the longer the process is delayed.

An HMRC spokesman recently said that about 10% of taxpayers miss the filing deadline. This could generate £10 million for the Revenue from late filing fines alone. Add to that a potential £1,600 from each taxpayer who delays filing for 12 months and the Treasury coffers would swell significantly.

Taxpayers who are having problems filing their returns may want to contact an accountant for help after Revenue staff announced they would be holding regular 30-minute walkouts.

Members of the PCS union believe HMRC is trying to privatise jobs by bringing in two private sector firms to man call centres. The Revenue disputes the claim, saying the move is designed to improve working processes.

An HMRC spokesman said the department was trying to find ways to improve the service it provides to customers, but PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka says it was wrong to outsource work when so many civil servants were losing their jobs.

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Image: Microwave Timer by pasukaru76

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