HMRC admitted an error which saw hundreds of early-paying taxpayers wrongly issued with late-payment notices before the deadline for self-assessment tax returns. The deadline for 2017/18 self-assessment submissions and any tax owed came and went at midnight on 31 January 2019, with £100 penalties in place for not filing on time.
However, 653 people who submitted tax returns in advance of the deadline received the same penalty charges due to an embarrassing mix-up at the Revenue. Tax officials, who initially played down the error two weeks before the deadline, were forced to apologise and reimburse those affected. HMRC said that hundreds of people, both trustees and agents who had made online returns for trusts they manage, wrongly received the late-filing fines.
A spokesperson for HMRC said: “Due to human error in processing some online trust returns, a small number of trustees or agents have been inadvertently issued with late-filing penalties. “All affected returns have been identified and the late-filing penalties have been cancelled. “We apologise for any issues this may have caused our customers and are writing to them directly to let them know.” This follows a recent technical glitch with HMRC’s systems through which some people filing their 2017/18 return were sent inaccurate bills that failed to include their payment on account.
A similar error was made in the previous year, with taxpayers asked to pay too little ahead of the second payment on account deadline on 31 July 2018.