HMRC offers help with tax returns

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are offering individuals who are behind with their tax affairs an opportunity to bring their situation up to date.

This campaign may be of interest to those who have not filed a tax return that is due for any year up to 2011/12. It is not available to individuals if HMRC has opened an investigation, enquiry or compliance check into their tax affairs, or if individuals are not currently registered for self-assessment.

To participate you must tell HMRC that you wish to join the campaign then complete and submit all outstanding returns and pay any tax and national insurance due by 15 October 2013. If you cannot afford to pay and your circumstances warrant it, you may be able to spread the payments.

HMRC have set up a dedicated helpline to assist people who wish to take part in the initiative. There is also information on their website.

HMRC advise that by taking part in this campaign, individuals can take advantage of a quick and straightforward way of bringing their tax affairs up to date, make use of the dedicated helpline, increase their chances of saving a higher penalty based on behavior and avoid receiving an estimate and action to collect.

If you do not take part and do not submit your returns, HMRC may use its powers to estimate the tax you are due and seek collection of this using tax demands, phone calls, personal visits and ultimately using the courts. HMRC may also demand tax geared penalties of up to 100 per cent (200 per cent for offshore matters in 2011-12) of the tax due for late returns where individuals do not take advantage of this opportunity. They could also consider a criminal investigation with a view to prosecution.

Our tax department can provide support in all aspects of tax compliance and planning. If you require further information please telephone Mairi Drummond on 01573 224391 or email