Nunn: HMRCs punitive penalties

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HMRC’s unforgiving attitude on Self Assessment penalties is unforgiveable and undermines the profession, says Yvette Nunn, reports Harris and Co accountants in Northampton.

No one relishes a dispute with HMRC, so if they are challenged, most would want the matter dealt with amicably and within a reasonable timescale. Delays mean uncertainty and can cause considerable distress to an individual or distraction to a business. So it was shocking when the last year’s statistics were released to see that the backlog of outstanding unresolved disputes between HMRC and taxpayers are rising to unprecedented levels. The amount of cases being heard by the First Tier Tribunal reached 26,965 at the end of 2012/2013, up from 24,273 the previous year.

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