Taxman cracks down on inaccurate returns
HMRC issued a record number of fines last year to taxpayers who made mistakes on their returns. The Revenue imposed 143,000 penalties on people who filed inaccurate information because it deemed them not to have taken “reasonable care” - nearly three times the 55,000 fines levied in 2012. Accountants also warned that people were being penalised for oversights such as forgetting to declare the interest on an old savings account or omitting a health insurance policy received through work. The penalty figures also showed a six-fold increase in the number of fines for deliberate understatement of income, from 5,000 in 2012 to nearly 30,000 last year. According to the Times, the figures are likely to raise concerns that the taxman is pursuing middle-earners with less complex tax affairs rather than the super-rich. However, HMRC denied that it was picking on easier cases, saying that anyone who made an innocent mistake on their return, and who took reasonable care, would not pay a penalty.
Source: The Times (31/01/2017)