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HMRC online filing availability notice for April 2009

image We have received early word from our contacts at HM Revenue & Customs that their own web filing product (the HMRC online portal) will be unavailable for the first weekend in April (3rd to the 6th). Third party software such as ours will are expected to work throughout this period although for 24 hours at the weekend will not return an immediate delivery receipt.

How to successfully appeal a CIS penalty fine (construction industry scheme)

_150372_tax_man_cartoon_300This month I’ve noticed a substantial increase in the number of people who are hitting our website searching for ways to avoid or otherwise appeal their automatic penalty notices received under the new Construction Industry Scheme. HMRC started charging penalties in October 2007 although our logs this month have recently shown a vast increase in the number of contractors who are searching Google for a way to appeal their penalties.

PAYE End of Year Filing (and unhelpful error messages)

If you operate a business in the UK you are required to file tax returns for that business by the 19th of May every year for the previous year. Obviously the earlier you get this done the better. I oversee all our accounts and I’ve been particularly busy over the past few weeks so this week was my first opportunity to try to get the returns done.

Happy Birthday, New CIS!

The New Construction Industry Scheme will be officially one year old in two weeks; on April 6th 2008. After a very shaky start with plenty of mass confusion, hysteria and technical glitches, have HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the construction industry finally gotten their systems “bedded down” for new CIS compliance or are there still problems?

UK construction companies expected to pay £47 million in late filing penalties

A recent article AccountingWeb reveals some rather interesting statistics on the CIS penalties for late monthly returns that UK Construction Companies have racked up since last October:

Rebecca Benneyworth writes:

The number of penalty notices issued for late CIS monthly returns are shown as:

  • October 2007: 35,919 (> £3.5M)
  • November 2007: 44,921 (> £4.4M)
  • December 2007: 37,618 (> £3.7M)

She adds, “So a total of 118,458 notices were issued in a three month period, bringing in fines of at least £11.8 million (as the minimum penalty is £100). Assuming that these three months are representative of a normal quarter, this would bring an annual yield from penalties for the new CIS 300 to over £47 million.”

Source: AccountingWeb / Hansard

Although we don’t know how many of these automatic penalties were issued in error (and hence would be invalidated under an appeal), we do know that the standard fine is £100, and the serious fine as high as £3,000 per subcontractor per month, which suggests a yield from just the monthly return of £47 million per year.