'Get off your backsides' HMRC chief urges as deadline looms for thousands who could be caught out by child benefits changes
Lin Homer: The HMRC chief is urging parents to register for tax self-assessment
Parents have been told by the head of Revenue and Customs to ‘get off their backsides’ and register for tax self-assessment.
Lin Homer said hundreds of thousands of people could be caught out by the changes to child benefit.
Families receiving the benefit where one person earns £50,000 or more are meant to register by today.
Households where one person earns more than £60,000 will have to pay back all their child benefit in income tax if they have not already opted out of receiving it.
Mrs Homer told Radio 5 Live: ‘We think there’s about 200,000 people who need to get off their backsides and do something.’
People who do not register could face fines of between 10 per cent and 100 per cent of the child benefit paid.
However, it is unlikely that anyone who registers and pays the tax by January 31 will be penalised.
‘HMRC is committed to helping people pay the right amount of tax and urges parents who have been affected by the changes to child benefit to register for self-assessment,’ said Mrs Homer.
She advised anyone unsure whether they are affected by the change to go to the HMRC website, adding: ‘We know that lots of people leave it until the last minute.’
Many of those affected had already opted out, she said.
Anita Monteith, of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, said: ‘This adds considerable complication to the tax system for ordinary people, particularly for those brought into the self-assessment system for the first time.’
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said some parents who are not affected had still received letters from HMRC telling them to register. ‘The changes to child benefit are a mess,’ she said.
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