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Taxation: Self-assessment

Question for Treasury

UIN 9608, tabled on 29 January 2020

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Answer of 1 July 2019 to Question 268996 on taxation: self-assessment, how much was paid in fines by people who submitted tax returns after the deadline of 31 January in each year since 2018.

Answered on

3 February 2020

The 2016-17 Self-Assessment (SA) tax return typically has an online filing deadline of 31 January 2018, and correspondingly, the 2017-18 Self-Assessment tax return typically has an online filing deadline of 31 January 2019.

The value of payments attributed to late filing penalties for people filing late and after 31 January for these two tax years has been provided below.

Tax Year penalty relates to

Penalty payments





Note: Figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand. These figures have been produced using an extract of the data provided for analytical purposes, and there may be small differences between this and the live SA system.

This analysis is based on penalties created and payments received to 3 January 2020. The 2017-18 figures cover a period of 11 months. The 2016-17 figures cover a period of 23 months. HMRC anticipate that more penalties will be issued and paid in relation to 2017-18, so it is not possible to make meaningful comparisons between the two sets of figures.

The above figures include both full and part-payments for the initial £100 late filing penalty, daily penalties, 6 month and 12 month late filing penalties. Late payment penalties have not been included.

These late filing penalties relate to:

• Individuals who filed online after 31 January after the end of the corresponding tax year and at least 3 months after they were issued with a notice to file

• Individuals who have missed the 31 January deadline and who have not yet filed their SA return for the corresponding tax year

• Individuals who did not need to file an SA return for that tax year but received late filing penalties due to late notification

As with the answer to PQ268996, the figures may include some penalty payments relating to Trust returns as they receive the same penalty code. Penalty payments relating to partnership returns are not included.

Penalties are not used as a means of generating revenue. HMRC want taxpayers to comply with their obligations and to file their returns on time.

HMRC charge penalties to encourage taxpayers to meet their tax obligations and to act as a sanction for those who do not, so the majority who do are not disadvantaged.

Not all taxpayers who fail to submit their return on time will have to pay a penalty. A penalty will not be payable if a taxpayer had a reasonable excuse for not filing their return on time or if they no longer need to file a return.

HMRC will not know if a taxpayer has a reasonable excuse or no longer needs to file a return until they inform HMRC.

Answered by

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.