I have numerous outstanding personal Self-Assessment Tax Returns which I have not submitted to HMRC, I have read about an HMRC campaign in this respect, can I make use of this?

The newest HMRC campaign, which began on 9 July 2013, is the ‘My Tax Return Catch Up’ campaign. This is for those who have been issued with a Tax Return or a notice to complete a Tax Return for any year up to 2011/12 but have not submitted them. By taking part you will be able to get up to date with your tax affairs and benefit from the best terms available.

The campaign cannot be used if HMRC has already opened an investigation, enquiry or compliance check into your tax affairs.

In order to take part you have to advise HMRC that you wish to join the campaign, this can be done online, by post or by telephone.  If this is something you intend to do, you are best advised to involve your accountant in this process, from this outset.

Once HMRC have been notified then the outstanding Tax Returns need to be completed and submitted by 15 October 2013.

Following submission of the outstanding Tax Returns you will need to ensure you pay any outstanding Income Tax liabilities and National Insurance Contributions that are due or claim any repayment due by the same deadline of 15 October. Any claims, however,  for overpayments for 2008/09 and earlier tax years are now out of time and cannot be repaid unless you have been issued with a Determination of the tax due during the last twelve months and the amount due under the Determination is greater than the actual tax liability calculated.

If you take part in this campaign then you can take advantage of this quick and straightforward way of bringing your tax affairs up to date, also you or your accountant can make use of a dedicated HMRC helpline in this respect and you will avoid receiving a Determination of tax in the future. Additionally you will increase the chances of saving a higher penalty based on your behaviour.

If Tax Returns are filed late then penalties can apply. In addition, where a tax liability is paid late penalties, interest and surcharges can also apply. HMRC can charge higher penalties depending on behaviour. Behavioural penalties can be as much as 100% of the Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions due. HMRC advise that by taking part in the campaign you will receive the best terms on offer and that they expect that most of those taking part will not have to pay these penalties. It should be noted though that late filing penalties will remain in place, as well as the tax owed, and for late payment the usual interest, surcharges and penalties will apply.

Further details can be found at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/campaigns/mtrc.htm