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Accountants warn of tax penalties

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A northern firm of chartered accountants has warned that individuals who have not yet filed their 2014/15 Tax Return may be at risk of substantial penalties.

Lee Watson, senior tax manager at Clive Owen LLP said: “It is normally the case that a Tax Return must be filed by 31 January after the end of the tax year (in the case of 2014/15 by 31 January 2016). Where this deadline is not met, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issue an automatic penalty of £100 in February.

“However, further penalties begin to accrue where the Return is not filed by 1 May at a rate of £10 per day. Therefore a 2014/15 Tax Return filed on 31 May 2016 may lead to an individual paying daily penalties of £310 in addition to the initial £100 late filing penalty.

“The daily penalty charge continues until the earliest of the Tax Return being filed or 31 July. Further penalties are then charged where the Return is filed post 31 July.”

Lee added: “Figures released by HMRC suggested that 870,000 people did not file their Tax Return by 31 January 2016, raising £87m in penalties for HMRC. Whilst some of these penalties may be subject to appeals by taxpayers, there is still likely to be a sizeable figure unnecessarily paid over to HMRC in late filing penalties.

“If any of those individuals have still not filed their 2014/15 Tax Return by 31 July 2016, it is likely that another sizeable sum will be paid over to HMRC by taxpayers. Our advice would be to seek assistance to file the outstanding Return as soon as possible.”

Clive Owen LLP has offices in Darlington, Durham and York, each with private client tax teams which handle the tax compliance affairs and submit Tax Returns for many individuals.

As a firm, Clive Owen LLP has ten partners and over 80 staff operating between the three sites, offering specialist tax and VAT advice, corporate finance assistance, audit and assurance planning, assistance with grant applications and IT systems advice.

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Lee Watson, senior tax manager at Clive Owen LLP

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