James Sunderland seeks update on HMRC fines on self-employed

James Sunderland seeks an update on request, last year, for a review of HMRC’s policy of imposing heavy fines on the self-employed for filing tax returns late even when no moneys are owed. 

James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)

I am grateful to the Minister for his statement, which I welcome. Last September, in this very place, I raised the issue of heavy fines being imposed on self-employed constituents for late submission of self-assessment forms, even though no moneys were owed. I met the Minister in post at the time, but will the current Minister please write to me with an update on progress?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Nigel Huddleston)

I thank my hon. Friend for raising this matter. I reiterate that there is a very good reason why HMRC’s structure and relationship with Government is as it is, because it would be inappropriate for Ministers to interfere with individual tax affairs. However, I would be more than happy to raise his point with HMRC and respectfully ask that it pays it due attention. Of course, the Government set broader policy.