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Warning on historic tax returns issued

Thousands urged to submit previous tax returns

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has this week issued letters urging taxpayers who failed to submit tax returns in 2009/10 or earlier to file them before 2 October. 

The government body has written to over 7,000 people that it considers to be most likely to have missed a tax return submission.

Tax initiative offers chance to sort tax affairs

HMRC’s Tax Return Initiative is aimed at people who pay tax at 40% or over but is open to anyone who has failed to submit a Self Assessment tax return from the 2009/10 tax year.

People who come forward voluntarily before the beginning of next month will pay lower penalties than those who wait to be contacted by HMRC. Those who meet the deadline are likely to be charged the outstanding tax and any interest, as well as a fine set at the equivalent of 10% or 20% of the tax owed.

Higher penalties for failed tax returns after Oct 2nd

But anyone failing to submit outstanding tax returns before October 2nd could face a penalty of 100% of the tax due as well as a criminal investigation.  

Marian Wilson, head of campaigns at HMRC, said: ‘If HMRC has sent you a Self Assessment tax return or notice to complete a tax return for 2009/10 or earlier and you have not yet taken any action, this campaign offers you a quick and straightforward way to bring your tax affairs up to date. But time is running out. You have until 2 October to submit your tax returns and pay the tax you owe.’

HMRC has said people who will struggle to make the repayment may be able to have them spread over a longer period of time. 

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