HMRC has further delayed the planned reform of the late payment penalty regime.
HMRC planned to introduce the new penalty regime alongside Making Tax Digital (MTD) for income tax in April 2018, but the Revenue subsequently pushed its introduction back when MTD for income tax was deferred to April 2020.
Within the Overview of Tax Legislation and Rates (OOTLAR) document, which was published following the 2018 Autumn Budget, the government stated that it ‘remains committed’ to the reform of the late payment penalty regime, and intends to legislate for it ‘in a future Finance Bill’. Consequently, some experts have predicted that the new penalty regime will not be in place until April 2021 ‘at the earliest’.
Commenting on the matter, John Cullinane, Tax Policy Director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), said: ‘We are broadly supportive of these reforms to HMRC’s penalties regimes, so we are disappointed by this further delay, though as with any reform, we acknowledge that it is more important to do it right than to do it quickly.’
HMRC previously outlined the new penalty scheme, which is set to be a two-tier system that will take effect 15 days after a late payment.