Data reveals significant number of taxpayers filed tax returns over festive period

Data published by HMRC has revealed that more than 10,000 self assessment tax returns were filed over the festive period.

Image result for tax returns christmas

According to HMRC, 2,616 individuals filed their return on Christmas Day, with the peak filing hour proving to be between 1pm and 2pm.

Meanwhile, 8,465 taxpayers submitted their tax return on Boxing Day, with the majority of returns being filed between 8am and 4pm.

More than 11 million taxpayers are required to complete and file their self assessment tax return by 31 January 2019. HMRC recently urged the 5.5 million taxpayers who have not yet submitted their tax return to do so before this time.

Angela MacDonald, Director General for Customer Services at HMRC, said: ‘The self assessment deadline on 31 January is fast approaching, but there is still time for customers to file their tax returns online and on time to avoid any unnecessary penalties.’

Those who are late in submitting their return face a penalty of £100, even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax has been paid on time. Additional penalties are due for continued late payments and late filing.

As your accountants, we can assist you in preparing and filing your self assessment tax returns – please contact us for more information.


HMRC urges taxpayers to complete self-assessment tax returns early

With less than 100 days until the online self-assessment tax return deadline, HMRC is urging taxpayers to complete their tax returns early, in order to avoid the last-minute rush.

Image result for hMRC urges taxpayers to complete self-assessment tax returns early

The deadline for submitting your 2017/18 self-assessment tax return online and paying any tax you owe is 31 January 2019. An automatic penalty of £100 will apply if your return is late.

HMRC revealed that more than 11 million taxpayers completed a self-assessment tax return last year, with a total of 10.7 million finalising their returns on time. 758,707 individuals filed their returns on 31 January, the deadline day.

According to HMRC, a record 93% of taxpayers filed their tax returns online. Paper self-assessment tax returns must be filed by 31 October 2018.

Commenting on the matter, Angela MacDonald, Director General for Customer Services at HMRC, said: ‘We want to help people get their tax returns right – starting the process early and giving yourself time to gather all the information you need will help avoid the last minute, stressful rush to complete it on time.’

Foreign lorry levy results in tax windfall

Foreign lorry levy results in tax windfall

24 Oct 2014

A new levy on foreign HGV vehicles coming into the UK is likely to raise twice as much in tax revenues as initially expected, according to Treasury figures.

Foreign lorry companies have to pay anywhere between £1.70 and £10 a day to use UK roads, and failure to do so could result in a £300 roadside fine.

Since it was introduced in April the levy has made some £23.4m for the Treasury, which is already £3m more than it expected for the whole 2014/15 tax year.

Nearly one million levies have been bought so far, with the countries buying the most levies being Poland, Romania, Spain, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

The Treasury is not publishing details on whether the revenue raised will be spent specifically on road improvement. Nonetheless, the levy was widely welcomed by UK haulage companies, particularly as British lorries often have to pay equivalent taxes to drive on roads abroad, which their competitors can use for free.

Not all businesses are so positive about the tax however, with some commenters complaining that the costs of the levy are being passed on to UK exporters and consumers.

Tax investigators collect record amount this year

27 May 2014

£23.9 billion was collected through tax investigations over the past twelve months, claims HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

This is an increase of £3.2 billion on the previous twelve-month period, and £9 billion on the period before that. HMRC said it was almost £1 billion above the target set by Chancellor George Osborne.

According to official figures, over £8 billion of the haul came from large businesses. A further £1 billion came from criminals and £2.7 billion from tackling avoidance schemes.

‘The Government supports the hard-working, honest majority of taxpayers that play by the rules, and is determined to tackle the minority that seek to avoid paying the taxes they owe,’ said Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke.

He continued: ‘We set HMRC ambitious targets to increase its yield and the figures published today demonstrate that HMRC is successfully meeting these challenges’.

HMRC said it aims to secure £100 billion between May 2010 and March 2015 through investigations into unpaid tax.

Revenue to recover unpaid tax ‘directly from taxpayer accounts’

08 May 2014

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is set to recover unpaid tax and overpaid tax credits directly from the bank accounts of businesses and individuals that fail to pay, under new rules.

The Direct Recovery of Debts (DRD) initiative was outlined in the 2014 Budget and the proposals are now under consultation. If approved, DRD will allow HMRC to recover tax debts from taxpayers who owe more than £1,000.

HMRC will be able to take money from bank accounts, building society accounts and Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs).

According to HMRC, only those with long-term debts who have received at least four payment demands will be targeted.

A minimum total of £5,000 will be left across debtors’ bank accounts, including their savings accounts. The amount owed will be frozen in debtors’ accounts for a period of 14 days before being seized, to give taxpayers the opportunity to contact HMRC regarding payment of the debt.

Around 17,000 individuals are expected to be affected by the measures, which are set to take effect in 2015.

We can help with all of your tax planning needs – please contact us for further assistance.

Higher rate taxpayers contribute two-thirds of total UK tax

01 May 2014

Taxpayers liable to the 40p and 45p income tax rates will pay 67% of Britain’s total tax bill by 2014/15, even though they represent only 16% of the UK population, according to figures released by HMRC.

Under the Coalition Government over a million additional people have become liable to the higher and additional rates of income tax. In 2011/12 they paid 58% of the nation’s tax bill and contributed a total of £91.9 billion to the Treasury, compared to £172 billion today.

This effect, often called ‘fiscal drag’, has been lucrative for the exchequer but some Conservative MPs have expressed concern about the political consequences of failing to increase the 40p threshold. Traditionally, the earnings threshold at which people start paying higher rate tax – (currently £31,865)  has been increased in line with inflation, but from April 2014 it will rise by a flat 1% for two years, bringing more middle-income earners into liability to the rate.

Tory backbencher John Redwood said: “Those dragged into the 40p rate are not rich people. It is wrong to impose a penalty rich person’s rate on a middle-earner and we have too many people paying the 40p rate. I think that cutting the top rate further will increase the amount of money that rich people pay. We can use this extra income to take people out of the 40p rate.”

The latest statistics also show that the top 1% of taxpayers earn 12.6% of the total UK income but contribute 27.4% of the total tax yield, while the top 5% earn 25.1% of the income but contribute 47.7% of the tax

Banks still deemed ‘too big to fail’

01 Apr 2014

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that policymakers have failed to make the banking sector independent of public funds.

Implicit subsidies and coordinating rescue plans remain in place if multinational banks go bust, which could cost the taxpayer billions of pounds in the event of another crisis. IMF’s Global Financial Stability Report says that lenders are benefitting from low borrowing costs because all concerned are certain of a bailout if they get into trouble.

The report says: ‘Countries emerged from the financial crisis with an even bigger problem. Many banks were even larger than before and so were the implicit government guarantees’.

Total subsidies in the US, Japan, Eurozone and UK banking sectors amount to $590 billion.

The IMF agrees with security efforts such as forcing banks to hold more capital and rules to restrict them from making risky loans. However, the report adds: ‘In areas such as the implementation of resolution frameworks or structural reforms, countries have adopted policies without much co-ordination’.