Missed the Self Assessment deadline?
Here is some good news from HMRC. If you, or a client, have received a 2010/11 Self Assessment (SA) return but should not be in SA because you no longer meet the criteria, then even if the tax return deadline has been missed you can ask HMRC to be removed from SA and cancel any late return penalty.
The professional bodies have been asking HMRC to do this for some time, and we are pleased to note that HMRC have recently acted on this. The criteria for SA are set out at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/need-tax-return.htm
The attached briefing note explains what to do – see the section headed ‘Treating people fairly’ which states:
‘Treating people fairly
Once the 31 January deadline has passed and penalties begin to apply, we will use our utmost discretion to ensure that we are even-handed and treat people with sensitivity. We will be as supportive and flexible as the legislation allows us. We will:
- be sympathetic in exercising our discretion where people are prevented by circumstances outside their control from filing on time. In such cases, we will cancel the penalty, but the taxpayer must still file as soon as possible
- take people out of Self Assessment if they shouldn’t be in and they contact us. If they can demonstrate that they do not need to be in Self Assessment, they will no longer need to submit a return and we will cancel any penalty they have incurred.
We know that there are some people in Self Assessment who should not be. The problem is that until they contact us, either by submitting a return or by calling us, we don’t know whether they should be or not. So, after the January deadline, in both our direct letters and in our advertising, we will be inviting them to call us to give us some basic information that will help us to assess whether they should be in Self Assessment. If they shouldn’t, we will take them out and cancel any penalty they have incurred.
Anyone who thinks they should not be in Self Assessment can call us after the January deadline has passed on 0845 900 0444. Our staff will help them.’