HMRC Delay Issuing Self Assessment Penalty Notices

Category: Personal TaxTaxation - Posted On: Mar 1 2019

More than 11.5 million taxpayers were required to file their Self Assessment Tax Return by midnight on 31 January, and according to HMRC, a record 93.68% submitted on time. However, there were still 731,186 taxpayers who missed the deadline.

As part of EU Exit contingency planning, HMRC have decided to make a change to the timings for sending notifications of Self Assessment penalties. Previously, the £100 penalty notices were issued in February for individuals who had not filed their online return on time. This created considerable demands on HMRC call centres, as individuals call to consider their options. This year, HMRC expect an increased demand in their call centres as the UK leaves the EU, so they intend to delay the issue of these notices to ensure they can provide the best possible service.

Individuals who filed late will still be charged the £100 penalty; but the notice will be delivered later than normal. HMRC will issue daily penalties to individuals who have still not filed three months after the deadline, in appropriate cases, at the normal time. The latest date that the notices will go out is the end of April, but they will go out sooner if the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed.

The penalty notices have always been an important prompt to taxpayers that their return is outstanding, and a reminder that they risk incurring an additional penalty of £10 per day if their return is still outstanding 3 months after the submission due date. With the proposed delay of issuing the penalty notices until late April or even into May, the £10 daily penalties could be unavoidable.

We would advise anyone who has yet to file their 2017-18 tax return to do so as a matter of urgency. While you will not be able to avoid the £100 penalty, unless you have a reasonable excuse, getting the return filed online no later than 30 April will mean that you will avoid the additional £10 per day.

If you would like help with your outstanding tax return, please contact your local office contact, or email