Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Taxman's trouble of the week: The paper shortage

I was in two minds whether to post this here or on my accountancy and tax fun blog.

Believe it or not, but HMRC has run out of paper! This means that some self employed people who are due to pay tax on 31 July will not get their reminder statement until August.

Much the same thing happened in January 2008 - as HMRC admit in their FAQs about the current farce.

HMRC are saying that anyone who is affected will not be subject to interest on the late payment as long as the tax due is paid within 30 days of when the statement arrives. Some of the people affected by the paper shortage will already be planning to pay their tax as it's an annual liability. The amount due will typically also be clear from the statements issued earlier in the year by reference to the tax due on 31 January 2011.

If you do pay the tax late I suspect that the computer will automatically charge the interest that would otherwise be due. You will then need to call or write to the taxman to get the interest charge wiped from your record.

I was going to finish by hoping that HMRC will have enough notepaper to record the details of telephone conversations when taxpayers challenge the interest charges. But the records are probably all stored online now.

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