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Taxation: Self-assessment

Question for Treasury

UIN 20400, tabled on 25 February 2020

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much was paid in fines by people who submitted tax returns after the deadline of 31 January in (a) 2017, (b) 2018 and (c) 2019.

Answered on

2 March 2020

The 2015-16 Self-Assessment (SA) tax return typically has an online filing deadline of 31 January 2017, 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 the deadline of 31 January in (a) 2017, (b) 2018 and (c) 2019 is as follows:

Tax Year penalty relates to

Penalty payments

2015-16

£133,669,000

2016-17

£111,272,000

2017-18

£75,363,000

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 other HMRC systems including the live SA system (CESA).

This analysis is based on penalties created and payments received to February 2020. The 2017-18, 2016-17 and 2015-16 figures cover a period of 1, 2 and 3 years’ penalty payments respectively. More penalties will be issued and paid in relation to all these years but further payments to recent years will be relatively higher, so there will be greater changes to recent years. It is not possible to make meaningful comparisons between different years’ 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; and, individuals who did not need to file an SA return for that tax year but received late filing penalties due to late notification.

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.

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 pay correctly and on time 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 need to file a return until the taxpayer tells HMRC.

Answered by

Treasury
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.