UK and International Tax news

Ending Of ESC B 46 And Late Filing Concession

Friday 11th June 2010

HMRC have recently announced that ESC B46 will come to an end on 31 March 2011. Taxpayers submitting company tax returns and employers’ end-of-year returns after this date must make sure the returns are submitted to HMRC by the required dates.

ESC B46 was introduced in 1995 and confirmed that HMRC would not issue penalties for late filing of company tax returns or employers’ and contractors’ (construction industry scheme) end-of-year returns, provided they are received by the last working day within seven days of the filing date. The ESC ensured that penalties would not be charged when taxpayers had taken all reasonable steps to file the returns on time, but were prevented from doing so, for example due to postal delays.

From 1 April 2011, company tax returns for accounting periods ending after 31 March 2010 must be filed online. All forms P35 and P14 must already be filed online, and HMRC will no longer accept paper returns from the majority of customers. Contractors are no longer required to file end-of-year Construction Industry Scheme returns. ESC B46 has therefore become redundant because the possible causes of late filing it was intended to address can no longer arise.

Taxpayers who file a return late will, as now, be able to request HMRC to remove any penalty, if they believe they had a reasonable excuse for the delay in filing. HMRC will consider every case on its own merits. Taxpayers can also appeal against the penalty to a Tribunal.

If you would like to discuss the above in more detail, please contact Keith Rushen on +44 (0)20 7486 2378.

Contact Us