Self-assessment returns and the postal strike
HMRC have explained their position in light of the Royal Mail postal strikes that could have delayed the arrival of self assessment tax returns which were due for submission by 31 October. The intention being to avoid the £100 late filing penalty.
Taxpayers who can demonstrate that they have missed the deadline because of the postal strike will not be penalised. In addition as the 31 October deadline fell on a Saturday, deliveries of self-assessment returns by hand to a HMRC office by Monday 2 November will be treated as delivered on time.
The six points highlighted by HMRC in their latest communication relating to the postal strike are as follows:
- It’s your responsibility to make sure that your return was received on time. For paper returns the deadline was Saturday 31 October.
- You should consider filing online as you’ll have longer to file your tax return – until 31 January 2010.
- If you want to send your return on paper you can deliver it by hand to your nearest HMRC Office instead of posting it.
- If you delivered your tax return by hand on Monday 2 November, normal arrangements will apply and you won’t have to pay a late filing penalty.
- If you decided to post your return, you should have sent it to your tax office to arrive by 31 October.
- You won’t have to pay a penalty if you missed the deadline because of the postal strike – providing you posted your return before 31 October.
An additional point to note is that the £100 penalty will not be pursued for late filed personal tax returns as long as all of the tax due is paid by 31 January 2010. The position is different for partnerships as they do not have a tax liability to settle.