Penalties for Errors on Returns, Payments and Paperwork

How RIFT Accouting Can Help

If you file a return or other document that either understates the amount of tax you owe or misrepresents your tax liability in some way, you can definitely expect to be charged a penalty. You can also be penalised if HMRC has given you an assessment that's too low.

They call this an "inaccuracy penalty", and it applies to the following taxes and duties:

  • Betting and Gaming duties.
  • Capital Gains Tax.
  • The Construction Industry Scheme.
  • Corporation Tax
  • Environmental Taxes
  • Excise Duties.
  • Income Tax.
  • Inheritance Tax.
  • Insurance Premium Tax.
  • National Insurance contributions.
  • PAYE.
  • Petroleum Revenue Tax.
  • Stamp Duties.
  • VAT.

Submitting an inaccurate document comes with three flavours of penalty, all unpleasant. These depend on whether the inaccuracy is due to:

  • A lack of "reasonable care".
  • Intentionally sending incomplete or incorrect information.
  • Deliberate and concealed misinformation, such as intentionally concealing a known error.

The question of "reasonable care" is a fuzzy one. Businesses and individuals are expected to keep complete and accurate records for their tax returns, but precisely what that means will be very different for a Sole Trader with simple accounts than for a larger, more complex company. We can help you to work out what will be expected for your situation if you're not sure what you need to do.

As you can imagine, the more serious the offence, the worse the maximum penalty you can expect. On the other hand, co-operating with HMRC to put things right might ease things up a little. Your best course, naturally, is never to allow the errors to crop up in the first place.

Talk to RIFT Accounting for more on how we can bullet-proof your finances and deal with HMRC for you.

Call us on 01233 653006 and see how we can help you today.

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