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One million taxpayers to face tax return late filing penalties

Almost one million people are expected to receive instant £100 penalties for missing the deadline for their 2014-15 self-assessment tax returns.

According to official figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), 950,000 people failed to file their tax returns online ahead of the 31st January deadline.

That’s a potential year-on-year increase of 60,000 people with 890,000 taxpayers missing the deadline for 2013-14 self-assessment.

Those who miss the cut-off date will have 30 days to appeal if they believe they have a genuine reason for failing to file on time. Should the tax authority not receive 2014-15 forms by April 30th 2016, it will begin to levy a daily penalty charge of £10 a day for the next 90 days.

Those who leave at even later and fail to submit their 2014-15 tax return online before 31st July 2016 will be fined an additional sum of either five per cent of the tax owed or £300; whichever is greater.

HMRC has confirmed already that it will show leniency to those who have been desperately affected by the recent flooding in parts of Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire and many other parts of the UK.

An HMRC spokeswoman said: “No taxpayer affected by flooding will have to pay a fine if their return is late.

“We will accept a customer has a reasonable excuse if the delay is caused by flooding at their premises or their agent’s premises and the return is subsequently submitted without reasonable delay.”

The spokeswoman added that HMRC will be accepting instalment payment plans where taxpayers are currently unable to pay the full amount of tax owed due to the cost of their flood damage.

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