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One week left to file late returns

There is one week left for 40 per cent tax rate payers or above to take part in the Tax Return Initiative.

The initiative is aimed at people who pay higher rates of tax and have been told to submit a Self Assessment tax return for 2009/10 or earlier, but have not yet done so. Taxpayers have until 2nd October to tell HMRC they want to take part, submit completed returns and pay the tax and NIC contributions.

The scheme was launched on 3rd July and HMRC have said people will receive better terms by coming forward voluntarily through the scheme and any penalty they pay will be lower than if the Revenue is forced to come to them first.

Past 2nd October, HMRC can use legal powers to pursue outstanding returns and enforce payment through court or a debt collection agency. Criminal investigations could also be launched.

Head of HMRC Campaigns Marian Wilson confirmed that 'time is running out' while also ensuring people were made aware that if their circumstances 'warrant it' they could be able to 'spread the payments'.

HMRC initiatives such as these have managed to collect nearl £510 million from people coming forward and has completed 18,000 investigations. There are currently 23 criminal cases underway with three plumbers having been jailed already.

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