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Readers forum: Penalty problem

27 October 2020
Issue: 4766 / Categories: Forum & Feedback
Is there any hope to reduce penalties for late tax return?

My client was self-employed until she went to work as a missionary in eastern Europe in May 2017. Before she left the UK she went to an HMRC office and received help completing her 2017 self-assessment tax return and thought this completed her UK tax obligations. She and her husband let their house and letters were forwarded to a relative because there was no reliable postal system in the remote area to which she went. She had advised the HMRC officer that she was leaving the UK. Unfortunately the client and her husband did not understand that they had to declare their UK rental income even though this was well below their personal allowances. She thought as many do that self assessment was only for the self-employed.

I was appointed to act in December 2019 when the client was being chased for outstanding returns and I completed...

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