Hundreds of thousands of Britons to be let off £100 tax fine in major rule change

Posted On: 
24th November 2017

Hundreds of thousand of Britons who file tax returns late will avoid £100 fines under changes being introduced by the Government.

A reform of the system will result in driving licence-style points
Credit: 
PA Images

Ministers will instead introduce a driving licence-style points system for those who make a genuine mistake and miss the 31 January deadline, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The taxman will only order a fine if people accumulate four points, which the Government says will mean only those "people who really don’t care about playing by the rules" being affected.

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The plans were published in the so-called "Red Book" alongside the Budget.

The document said: "The Government will reform the penalty system for late or missing tax returns, adopting a new points-based approach. It will also consult on whether to simplify and harmonise penalties and interest due on late payments and repayments. 

"This will ensure that the system is fair, simple and effective across different taxes. Final decisions on both measures will be taken following this latter consultation."

It added: “If a customer achieves a sustained period of good compliance before a penalty is triggered, the points total will be reset to zero.

“A sustained period means that a number of submissions are provided on time for a set period.”

One HMRC source told the paper: “We want to take a holistic approach and not penalise people who trip up and go after people who really don’t care about playing by the rules.”