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Campaign highlights £1.1bn fines paid to Revenue

UK taxpayers will hand over £1.1bn to the taxman in fines this year as a result of late or miscalculated tax returns, according to research by IFA Promotion.

It is urging IFAs to contact their clients to help put their finances in order ahead of the January 31 deadline for submitting tax returns.

IFAP says that since self-assessment was introduced in 1997, there has been a steady rise in the number of late returns, with 971,000 deadline defaulters last year.

The upward trend is set to continue with the increasing complexity of forms and guidance notes issued by the Inland Revenue.

The IFAP research suggests that £975m will be lost through fines for miscalculations made on tax forms, £98m through fines for forms returned after the January 31 deadline and £55m incurred in surcharges and additional penalties for outstanding tax payments of more than £1,000.

Chief executive David Elms says: “It is no surprise that people experience problems filling out the 29-page, 438-box form since it deals with some pretty mind-boggling calculations.

“But the onus is now squarely on those who have not yet tackled the forms to ensure correct completion.

“People risk facing costly fines through last-minute panicking or, worse still, further procrastination. An IFA can help put your finances in order, saving time and aggravation when it comes to filling in your tax return.”


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