For a lot of people it's very stressful having a brown envelope drop through their letterbox. Especially when you know its something likely to be a penalty for late payment of tax or late submission of a tax return.
But there maybe a glimmer of hope to having some of these penalties reduced or cancelled because HMRC have been writing off late penalties for many tax payers if they have provided a reasonable excuse e.g. if you have been trying to contact HMRC prior to receiving the fine then they should be sympathetic to your appeal.
This is most likely because Government Ministers have been condemning HMRC for its bad customer service of late. And an official report issued recently stated that up to half of all calls made to HMRC were not picked up by their call staff. Which could equal as much as nearly 11 million plus missed calls.
A HMRC spokesman said: "We work very much on a case by case basis but if you phoned us and couldn't get through we would take that into account..... If someone says they tried to call us we will take their word for it. We do not want to penalise anyone."
HMRC goes on to say "We know our customer service hasn't been as good as it should be so we have moved a further 3,000 people into them and things are getting better..... All this means no one should get a penalty for missing the 31 January deadline, or for putting the wrong figures in their returns because of call waiting times..... A penalty for a return that was in on time would only apply for failing to take sufficient care to get it right."
If you are not sure about your penalty or would like a professional to appeal them for you then the best thing is to speak to an experienced and respected professional firm like Tax Affinity Accountants.
By Anni Khan at Tax Affinity Accountants
Tax Affinity Accountants are experts in Tax and Accountancy. Based in Worcester Park and Surbiton in Kingston upon Thames they are considered in the industry to be experts accountants for small businesses. Helping and supporting business throughout the UK, they regularly help new and established businesses to succeed.
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