How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TonyTax Your Own Question
TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15979
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
Type Your Tax Question Here...
TonyTax is online now

I have never completed a tax return before and never

This answer was rated:

I have never completed a tax return before and never received a letter to say I need to start completing one (I have always been an employee whose employer deducts tax every month). About 6 weeks ago I received a letter saying late penalty notice of £600 for not completing my tax return in time. I went onto the website and saw a little questionnaire to complete to tell you if you should be completing a tax return and the answer was that I don't. I have tried phoning HMRC numerous times and spent hours on hold without ever getting through to a person so I wrote a letter to them but have not received a reply and then on Friday I received my 2nd ever letter from HMRC now saying my late penalty is £1200. What do I do? I googled my local tax office (Reading) but looks like it is only open from 7.45 to 8pm and says you can't write to them or pop in so how do I get this resolved without having to pay these penalties?

Hi. My name is*****'m looking at your question now and will post my answer or ask for more information here in a short while.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** how this service works as it's the first time I am using it and I haven't registered with all my details but have paid. If this disconnects please email the reply to***@******.***. Thanks

My answer will be posted here and you will get an email to tell you so.

I'm assuming that the tax return is for the year ended 5 April 2015 which was due for submission by 31 January 2016. A further penalty of £300 will be added if it is not completed and submitted to HMRC by 31 January 2017. It strikes me as odd that you had no idea that you had been put into the self-assessment system and that you didn't receive the £100 penalty notice in March. Normally, a taxpayer registers themselves for SA if and when it is necessary as opposed to HMRC registering them. Have you moved home since April 2015? You need to ask when the return was issued and when and to what address. You also need to ask why you have been issued with one since you don't appear to think you need to complete one. Do you have any sources of untaxed income, rental income for example, a life policy gain?

I realise that you have called HMRC already and not been answered and that you have written a letter but the quickest way to get this resolved is to call again. You could wait months for a reply to your letter. Call HMRC on the number here and tell whoever answers the phone that you wish to make a complaint and that you will only talk to a complaints manager. Impress on them the urgency of the situation as you may have to wait for a call back if no complaints manager is available. When you do get to speak to one, explain your situation, ie that you were not aware that you been put into self-assessment and that you don't recall receiving a tax return and that if you had, you would have completed it or at least enquired as to why you needed to do so. The likelihood is that you will need to complete the tax return unless HMRC admit to issuing it by mistake but you won't know if you do until the matter has been looked into and HMRC have given you a reason for a tax return being required. The penalty won't increase until 31 January 2017. If you do need to complete the return, you can appeal against the penalties using the form here.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions. I'd be interested in knowing the result of your call to HMRC and your discussion with the complaints manager.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, yes it is tax year ending 5 April 2015. I have definitely not registered myself for SA and definitely did not receive a letter in March. I don't receive any additional income, just my salary. The only thing that changed during the tax year in terms of my benefits is I had a lease car through my employer but I paid for it out of my flexible benefits (which was the same amount as I received the previous year). Also I left that employer end of May 2016 and have handed car back but not sure if changing employer would have triggered anything?Don't you have any other telephone numbers I can try as I have literally spent hours phoning that same number and going through all options, electing to speak to someone and then getting told (by computer) that all agents are busy now, please try again later! I have never ever spoken to an actual person so not sure how I could ever ask to speak to complaints department. Is there a particular time of day I am more likely to get through to someone?Also I did receive the appeal form, it was enclosed with the letter that arrived on Friday.Thanks

You could try the number here. I know its frustrating and I suggest you keep a record of the time you wait and the cost of your calls. The best time to call is 8am Monday to Saturday.

If you had a company car, there would be a taxable benefit unless you paid an equivalent sum to your employer to cancel the benefit. That may have triggered the issue of a tax return for 2014/15.

TonyTax and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you