HMRC: Warning as taxpayers have days to act before penalties imposed – how to pay | Personal Finance | Finance


HMRC, formally known as HM Revenue and Customs, helps millions of people with their tax affairs each year, but a key event in the calendar is the filing of a Self Assessment tax return. Due to the impact of the ongoing pandemic, the Revenue has given Britons a certain amount of breathing space when it comes to the payment of a tax bill. However, taxpayers now have just days to pay their Self Assessment tax bill before HMRC begins to impose late payment penalties.

This can be done by asking HMRC for a Time to Pay arrangement, which can help spread out bills over a longer period of time.

Such an action would also avoid a late payment fine being incurred.

Graham Boar, Partner at UHY Hacker Young, commented on the matter.

He said: “Taxpayers are running out of time to pay their tax bill before they are hit with a late payment penalty.

“Because of COVID, HMRC offered a grace period but that is running out.

“HMRC is actively encouraging taxpayers to make use of Time to Pay arrangements, this could be a lifeline for individuals who know they will struggle to pay their tax bill on time.

“If they choose to ignore it, they’ll only see the money owed increase even further.”

However, if a person receives a late payment penalty from HMRC, which they believe to be incorrect, they can also take action.

Sometimes HMRC issues late payment penalties in error, and so the issue can be rectified.

UHY Hacker Young stated HMRC initially imposed £275million in penalties for late payment of Self Assessment tax last year.

However, over 60 percent were later cancelled following appeals by the taxpayer.

Mr Boar concluded: “The past success rate of appealing late payment penalties suggests that taxpayers shouldn’t panic if they are incorrectly charged with a penalty.

“HMRC has proven that it will hold its hands up if it’s made a mistake.”

Time to Pay arrangements can be set for tax bills of up to £30,000, but Britons will need to get in touch with HMRC to see if they are eligible. 

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