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Delay in tax statements as HMRC fails to order enough paper

Statements about self assessment balancing payments will be delayed this year for some 500,000 people after HMRC failed to order enough special paper.

Those in the self assessment system who pay taxes ‘on account’ – mainly sole traders, the self-employed, and partners in businesses or LLPs – make payments in January and July 2011 based on the tax they paid for the tax year 2009-10. A balancing payment, or refund, will paid in January 2012 to rectify any differences between the estimate and the actual amount.

However, this year HMRC underestimated the number of forms – similar to credit card statements - required by taxpayers and failed to order enough of the necessary paper for printing them.

The late statements will now go out in August and, so long as payments are made within 30 days, no interest will be charged. It will also still be possible for taxpayers to check their statements online and pay via the internet or by telephone.

A spokesman for the Revenue said: "The volumes on this occasion have risen out of all proportion to previous patterns. HMRC will now ensure that they understand the reasons for this and will be fully prepared for any future rises…This in no way prevents the accurate payment of tax and no one will be out of pocket as a result."