HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has sent around 500,000 notices of penalties for failing to submit self-assessment tax returns, despite reminders being advertised on television and in the papers.
The deadline for online returns this year was 2 February, although paper returns had to be submitted by the end of October 2011.
The penalties equate to around £1,200 per person, consisting of £900 in daily fines and either a late-filing penalty of £300 or 5% of the tax due.
It is thought some people may have their penalties dropped if they are able to provide a valid excuse, such as illness.
A spokesperson for HMRC said: "We want the returns, not the penalties. This year, half a million more people have filed their return, which means we are issuing 44% fewer penalties.
"But despite several reminders, nearly 6% of people have not sent their 2010/11 tax returns to us and they will be getting a penalty."
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