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TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15979
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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I have received a late payment fine of £100 sending

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I have received a late payment fine of £100 for not sending in my tax return on time. I have appealed against this on the grounds that I have been retired for the last 3 years and I have had no correspondence since that time.
I have just received a statement requesting payment by March 27th and I have not received the result of my appeal.
I have two questions
1. Do I pay this fine now and wait for the result of my appeal.
2. Do I have to fill in a self assessment tax return.
Alan Kent *****
Le19 3WP

1 HMRC won't suspend demands for payment whilst the appeal is in process. I know people who refused to pay until all appeal procedures were completed as they thought, wrongly in my opinion, that if they paid they would effectively scupper their appeal.

2 Once a return is issued, it is difficult to get HMRC to cancel it. I know you have called the helpline but you need to find out why they want you to complete a return and if it was issued to an incorrect address. The fact that you are retired is not really relevant. Many errors occur in the period immediately after a retirement with the mis-allocation of personal allowances and HMRC are gradually clearing these up. I'm not saying that happened in your case but it is a possibility.

If I were you I'd complete the return. HMRC are considering cancelling the late filing penalty in the future so you might benefit from a backdated unofficial change of policy especially if your return shows that you owe no tax.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.
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