The self-employed are at risk of being charged for late payment of tax because of a technical glitch in the Government’s systems, accountants have warned.
Those who have already filed their tax returns are receiving bills for last year’s tax payment from HM Revenue & Customs which fail to include the “payment on account” - an advance payment of tax required from most freelancers - for the year ahead.
Staff at London firm Blick Rothenberg said HMRC had said it was aware of the issue which was because of a systems error. Stephanie Tremain, a senior manager from the company, said subsequent payment reminders could be inaccurate and put the self-employed at risk of being charged interest on any late payments.
She said: "Taxpayers will understandably rely on the information sent to them by HMRC, but for peace of mind it's important that they double check the amount due in January 2019 with their accountant, or for those without an accountant, they need to check their completed 2017-18 tax return."
The tax return deadline, when those who work for themselves or have additional earnings need to declare their earnings, is at the end of the month . Some taxpayers will have to make a payment by January 31, consisting of the final payment for the last tax year and the first of two advance payments for the current year.
Ms Tremain said: “It is unclear how many taxpayers are affected, or whether HMRC will be contacting those who are, but with the payment deadline fast approaching it is hoped that this will be rectified as soon as possible.”
A spokesman for the tax office said the issue only affected returns for the 2017-18 tax year.
He added: “We are aware of an issue with payment reminders for a small number customers. Anyone who is affected should contact us and we’ll put it right. Nobody will be charged additional interest due to this problem.”
This article was written by Sam Meadows from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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