HMRC sending out thousands of letters of apology

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are having to send out letters of apology to nearly twelve thousand people after wrongly telling them that they will face fines of £10 per day for not completing their tax returns.

The affected people had been told previously that they didn’t need to fill in a tax return as their tax affairs could be dealt with through PAYE, the ‘Pay as you earn’ system.

Then they received letters warning them that they faced a late filing penalty of £100 and then fines of £10 per day for each day they were late thereafter, up to a maximum of £900. On top of this, after six months they would then have to pay a penalty of £300 or 5 percent of the tax due, whichever was the greater. This penalty would be imposed again after 12 months.

HMRC said that it will be sending out the letters of apology and that no further action will be needed by the people affected. There are, however, still 650,000 people who have until the start of next week to file their tax returns. These people will have the penalties imposed if they do not comply.