There are times when I really wonder just what things are coming to; let me explain. Those people who have to send in their Tax Returns for Self-Assessment must do so by the 31st January otherwise they will be fined initially £100 and, after 3 months, this increases by £10 a day.. Some excuses are acceptable and will result in no fine. According to the HM Revenue and Customs website HMRC may agree you have a reasonable excuse if:
- life-threatening illness, for example a heart attack that prevents you dealing with your tax affairs
- the death of a partner shortly before a payment or tax return deadline
- unexpected or unforeseeable postal delays
- important documents lost, through theft, fire or flood, that can't be replaced in time
- late receipt of your online Activation Code, User ID or password even though you asked for them before the tax return deadline
However my complaint is that no special provision is made for those in the armed forces despite the fact that they may be serving in Afghanistan; a representative from HM Revenue and Customs said, on Radio 4 today, that if the assessment is late they will be fined £100. He then went on to say that anyone in that position could Appeal against the fine. Usually the people who have to make Self Assessment are Officers. Perhaps I’m really thick but I would have thought being our of the country serving in HM Forces would have counted as a reason for not applying the deadline but apparently not.
(I am aware that soldiers in Afghanistan are only allowed a very short period of time using the Internet and the tax returns have to be made on line)