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HMRC has launched its latest campaign entitled My Tax Return Catch-Up

It describes the campaign as a quick and straightforward way to bring tax affairs up to date, saying:

‘The campaign is for people who have received a self assessment tax return or notice to complete a tax return for any year up to and including 2011-12 and who have not yet taken action. To take part in My Tax Return Catch Up there are three steps: 

  1. tell HMRC that you want to join the campaign
  2. complete and submit all outstanding tax returns
  3. pay what is owed or claim a repayment that might be due. 

What’s in it for me?

By taking part in this campaign participants can: 

  • take advantage of a quick and straightforward way of bringing their tax affairs up to date
  • make use of a dedicated helpline
  • increase the chances of saving a higher penalty, based on behaviour
  • avoid receiving an estimate of the tax they owe and action by HMRC to collect this, including telephone calls, visits and the courts. 

Participants will receive the best terms available. HMRC expects that most will not have to pay higher behaviour related penalties, which can be as much as 100% of the tax and NICs due. Other late filing penalties, interest, surcharges and late payment of tax penalties will still apply.’

If the campaign sounds familiar, that’s because in 2012 HMRC ran a ‘tax return initiative’.

Q&As and additional guidance

HMRC have produced Q&As and additional guidance on the three steps; these are reproduced below. 

Q. How does My Tax Return Catch Up build on last year’s Tax Return Initiative (TRI)?

A. This campaign covers additional years up to 2011/12, offering customers a broader opportunity than TRI to bring their affairs up to date. HMRC is now looking more closely at people with gaps in their tax records and with record numbers filing on time in 2012/2013 similar opportunities will be limited in the future.

Q. Will participants need a Unique Taxpayer Reference to join the campaign?

A. Yes. If it has been lost please telephone the Campaign helpline on 0845 601 8818.

Q. What are higher behaviour related penalties?

A. We expect that most people who join the campaign will not have to pay a penalty under S93 (5) TMA 1970 or paragraphs 6(3) or 6(4) of Schedule 55 FA2009 respectively.

Q. Will the campaign be open to partnership and trust and estate returns?

A. Yes. For partnership returns please telephone the Campaign helpline on 0845 601 8818. For trusts and estates returns please telephone the trusts and deceased estates helpline on 0845 604 6455. 

Additional guidance

1.     Telling HMRC

Participants can tell HMRC by completing a notification form that can be sent to the department electronically.

They can also print and post the form to HM Revenue & Customs, Local Compliance Centres, My Tax Return Catch Up, PO Box 3900, Glasgow G70 6AA.

Alternatively, they can telephone the My Tax Return Catch Up Helpline on 0845 601 5041 to notify HMRC.

2.     Completing tax returns

Once participants have notified HMRC that they want to take part in the campaign, they will need to complete and submit a tax return by 15 October 2013. For 2009-10 and later years the easiest way is to submit returns online.

If it is not possible to complete a return online, a paper return can be completed instead. Paper tax returns for years 2009-10 to 2011-12 can be downloaded, and for years 2008-09 or earlier, speak to an agent or an HMRC adviser on the telephone helpline.

3.     Paying what is owed

Income tax and national insurance contributions shown on returns submitted will need to be paid by 15 October 2013. Unique Taxpayer References (UTRs) must be quoted when making a payment.

Article contributed by ACCA