HMRC announced this week that if anyone had missed submitting tax returns over the years, they could face larger fines. From Tuesday 2nd October, HMRC can legally pursue anyone who has not submitted a self-assessment form and therefore has outstanding tax payments.
Anyone known to have gaps in their tax payments has been sent a letter warning them of this and this proposal’s (the Tax Return Initiative) objective was directed at higher-rate taxpayers. Those who came forward by the end of Tuesday could take advantage of reduced fines, so they would have to pay back the tax owed as well as 10% or 20% of the outstanding amount. HMRC stated that criminal inquiries could commence after the 2nd October deadline and could result in payments of the tax owed and up to 100% of the tax that is due.
The Tax Return Initiative was aimed at those who are in the 40% tax rate bracket and have failed to return their self-assessment form between 2009 and 2010 and in some cases earlier. Any of the 7,000 people who received warning letters who have valid reasons for such gaps will not face fines.