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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Interest, penalties and surcharge: penalties: advising and warning the taxpayer about penalties for 2010-11 returns onwards

Late Filing Flyer

A late filing flyer was enclosed with all 2010-11 tax returns, and notices to file, issued as part of the bulk issue of returns in April 2011. The flyer was to inform of the changes to the penalty regime and to encourage the customer to file their return on time and make payment by the due date to avoid the new penalties.

Message on SA302 where paper return received late

Where a paper return is received late, the SA302 tax calculation includes a message advising customers who filed their paper return late that a penalty will be charged. The message says:

‘We received your paper Tax Return after the 31 October deadline so you will be liable to a penalty of £100. Why not file next years’ return online by 31 January and avoid a penalty? Visit  for more information.

This message will not be issued in Trust cases.

Warning leaflets

Up until December 2013, if a return has still not been received, one of the following reminders would be issued alerting customers to their obligation to file a return and/or to pay their liability by 31 January

  • SA309A - SA Online Tax Return and Payment Reminder where no return has been logged for an individual customer/trust. The SA309A is a personalised warning to individuals and trusts about penalties and will include a blank payslip
  • SA309B - SA Partnership Tax Return Reminder will be issued to the nominated partner where the partnership return has not yet been received. The SA309B is a personalised warning to the partnership about penalties
  • SA309C - SA Payment Reminder where the return has been logged, but not processed and no December statement has been issued to the customer. The SA309C is a personalised warning to customers and trusts about interest and penalties for late payment and will include a blank payslip
  • SA309E - SA Tax Return and Payment Reminder where no return has been logged and the customer is unable to file their return online for technical or operational reasons

From December 2014, paper reminders were no longer issued but digital reminders are sent to those customers who have registered to receive them.

In February each year, where a balancing payment and/or first payment on account are still unpaid, the SA359 strongly worded reminder is issued if a liability of £100 or more is outstanding, and certain conditions apply, for example the customer is not RLS. The letter asks for payment and warns of the consequences of continuing to delay payment. It also advises of the benefits of making payment online and includes a printed payslip on the reverse.

Explanation leaflets

Enclosed with any notice of penalty assessment (but not with daily penalty warning letters) will be either

  • Form SA370 - ‘Your penalty for your late return’ (for individual or trust returns) which includes SA326(1) (Notice of Appeal)
  • Form SA371 - ‘Your penalty for a late partnership return (for partnership returns) which includes SA328(1) (Notice of Appeal)

These leaflets will give advice on appeals against penalties.