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More than one million to face tax return fine

More than one million to face tax return fine

Category: Money

Updated: 06/02/2012
First Published: 06/02/2012

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

A record number of people returned their tax forms on time this year, although more than a million still face a fine after missing the deadline.

Almost 9.5 million people filed their Self Assessment tax returns on time this year, and a record 7.65 million did so online, figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) show.

But it still leaves around 1.1 million people who failed to meet the 2 February deadline, and they can now expect to be penalised £100.

People are fined even if they have no tax to pay.

It is the lowest ever number of people to fail to return their forms on time, and is well down on the 1.4 million last year and 1.6 million in 2010.

"I'm delighted so many people filed their tax returns online this year. The record number proves that it's quick, easy and secure to do," said David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.

"HMRC have always been clear that they want returns not penalties, so it is good news that over 90% of all returns were submitted on time.

"I am also pleased that the extension to the filing deadline prevented people from being unfairly penalised if they were unable to speak to HMRC on the 31st."

People were given an extra two days to return their tax forms this year, with the deadline extended from 31 January to 2 February to make up for problems caused by strike action.

But for those who still couldn't file on time only a valid excuse such as illness or bereavement can save them from forking out £100.

And the fine could grow if people don't file their returns soon.

A sliding scale sees fines increase by £10 a day after three months, with a maximum penalty of £1,600.

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