HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have agreed to set up a fast-track service for the issue of Unique Taxpayer References (UTR) for self-employed people who need to submit a tax return before 31 January. This will be particularly useful to partnerships where one partner has failed to register with HMRC, meaning that the partnership return could not be submitted, leaving the partnership at risk of receiving a penalty of £100 per partner. The alert from HMRC states:
Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) Fast-track
To help our customers to file their self assessment tax returns online this financial year, we have been working very closely with our agent colleagues in the Working Together Steering Group. As a result, we are introducing a fast-track UTR process for those who were self-employed during 2007/08 but who have not yet registered with HMRC and received a UTR.
The fast-track will be available from Monday 8th December 2008 to the end of January 2009 and can be only accessed using the Helpline number on 0845 915 4515. The Helpline is open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday.
If you use this service we’ll aim to post your client’s UTR within 5 working days.
Who should use the fast track?
This fast-track route should be used where a UTR is urgently required. In the main this will be where members of partnerships have not notified HMRC of their liability and the partnership needs to meet the filing deadline for the partnership return of 31st January 2009. To avoid slowing down processing times, do not use the fast-track service unless urgent.
Please note, the fast-track provides no guaranteed turnaround.
Filing a return late because your client does do not have a UTR will not normally be accepted as a “reasonable excuse”.
What can I do if my client is self-employed and has not notified HMRC they are liable to income tax and/or capital gains for 2007/08?
They should contact their local HMRC office and/or Newly Self-Employed Helpline, as soon as possible, to notify HMRC that they are liable to income tax and/or capital gains tax. They will then be issued with a UTR and a notice to file will be sent to your client. The return should be made to HMRC either on paper or electronically within 3 months of the notice being given.
Can my client avoid paying a penalty for failing to notify HMRC before 6th October 2008?
To avoid a failure to notify penalty your client should make a payment of all the tax due to HMRC before 31 January 2009. Cheques should be sent to:
Accounts Office Shipley
HM Revenue & Customs
The cheque should be accompanied by a note with your client’s name and address. Your client should retain a copy of the cheque details (bank on which drawn, sort code, cheque number) and the date it was sent to HMRC and include these details with their tax return to make it easier to link the payment with the liability once the return has been filed.
Other methods of paying self assessment are set out in “How to Pay Self Assessment”, http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/payinghmrc/selfassessment.htm.
Where can I direct post registration enquiries?
Customers should direct all post-registration enquiries about UTRs not to the Helpline, but to the tax office that usually deals with your tax affairs or visit your nearest HMRC office where staff will help.
020 7235 9381