Incorrect P11D penalty letters

Incorrect P11D penalty letters

The HMRC computer has been at it again – issuing penalty warning letters for forms it has already received, in this case P11D(b) forms for 2014/15. If you attempt to query the letter with HMRC you may well be forced to wait 40 minutes or more to speak to someone on HMRC’s Employer Helpline.

HMRC has admitted there is a problem with the processing of forms P11D(b) and has apologised for the inconvenience caused (!). However, it also says that most of the penalty warning letters have been issued correctly, as the P11D(b) forms haven’t been received by HMRC. It suggests the taxpayer (or you, as their tax agent) should submit a duplicate P11D(b) if a warning letter has been received.

This could cause problems in two situations:

a) if the original form turns up, the replacement form could be treated as an amendment and trigger a late filing penalty; or

b) if the original form doesn’t turn up, the replacement form could be treated as the first filing and also trigger a late filing penalty.

HMRC say that if the replacement form is identical to the first form it will not be processed so a penalty won’t arise in situation b). If a penalty is issued in situation a) the employer can appeal and the HMRC appeals team will “support those employers”.

If you are certain the P11D(b) was submitted on time, it may be better to wait until the actual penalty is issued (the warning letter is not a penalty), then appeal against that penalty. In future submit the P11d(b) online so it can’t get lost in transit.

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