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HMRC waives fee for late tax returns


Up to 890,000 people may not have to pay the £100 late filing fee normally imposed by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on individuals who fail to submit their tax returns on time.


HMRC confirmed this, after a leaked memo was exposed by the Telegraph, explaining that a ‘reasonable’ excuse must be provided before they will waive the fee. According to the memo, an individual’s mitigating circumstances would not be subject to further investigation.


An HMRC spokesperson said: ‘We want to focus more and more of our resources on investigating major tax avoidance and evasion rather than penalising ordinary people who are trying to do the right thing’.


An example list of reasonable excuses has been released, including: death of a partner, an unexpected hospital stay, failure of computer software, fire or postal service delays.


Individuals who filed their tax returns late must have submitted an appeal form in order to be exempt from the fee, otherwise they will still be liable to pay £100.