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Taxation: Self-assessment

Volume 489: debated on Friday 20 March 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many people with a BT postcode missed the 31 January deadline for filing their tax returns in each of the last three years; and how much HM Revenue and Customs received in penalties from such persons in each such year; (265181)

(2) what steps he is taking to reduce the numbers of people who do not meet the annual deadline for filing their tax returns.

28,323 people with a BT postcode missed the 31 January 2009 deadline for filing 2007-08 self assessment tax returns. I would refer to the answer given on 20 May 2008, Official Report, column 209W, which provided figures for 2006-07. The detail for 2005-06 is not known.

HMRC does not hold information on how much was received in penalties from such persons in each year.

The filing deadline is prominently displayed on the tax returns and notices to file, and HMRC issue reminders in advance of the deadline. In addition, HMRC ran a comprehensive publicity campaign to inform both customers and agents of the change in filing dates for the 2007-08 tax return—to 31 October for paper returns and 31 January for returns filed online. This included TV, radio and press advertising, posters and billboards, and online advertising. There was also extensive media coverage.