How To Rip Off The Inland Revenue (Not That We'd Condone That Sort Of Thing Of Course)

Online everything is the future – you’d probably be gawping at some kind of parchment by candlelight instead of reading this dazzling item if you didn’t agree. Certainly in terms of collecting taxation in the UK, the interweb is where it’s at and record numbers of us have filed our returns remotely and paperlessly from our computers this year.

But, as with almost anything that’s government-flavoured, there have been snags and hitches. There have almost certainly been snitches too but that’s another story. Last minute online taxpayers may have missed the January 31st deadline due to a registration glitch, but they won’t be fined for it.

In order to complete your tax return online you had to register, and that involved inputting a PIN that was sent to you through the post. The deadline for applying for this PIN was January 21st, ten whole days before the tax deadline itself, and something that the Inland Revenue failed to properly publicise. Anyone trying to amble on to the IR site for the first time and throw some numbers around at 11.40pm on Saturday night would have been bitterly disappointed.

But the IR have announced an amnesty and late payers will not cop for a £100 fine if they claim that their PIN didn’t arrive. So what if your PIN did arrive on time but you couldn’t be arsed to submit your tax return until, say, today? Well, if you were tell a little white lie and say that your PIN got stuck in the post, you could probably avoid the £100 fine. We’re not condoning that you lie to the taxman of course. We’d never do that sort of thing – it would be madness.

[The Times]


  • Bob M.
    Lol well they believe its right to take money if they over-pay you, leaving you penniless. So whats the harm in a little bit of sweet revenge?
  • well w.
    In my experiance they will waive it , then you'll get the bill again, you'll complain and the'll waive it , then you'll get the bill again and hopefully after a year it will be resolved. we're always supposed to be 100% correct with our paperwork but they seem to only get it right 20% of the time themselves. Their a waste of taxpayers money..
  • Joff
    What a crock of shit. What about all the goody two shoes taxpayers that diligently prepared and filed their tax returns well on time? I'd like a letter of apology personally signed by Adam Hart-Davis and maybe one of his shirts too. XL please.
  • LOlcat
    You're hardly ripping them off by delaying your submission...
  • Amanda H.
    @lolcat I disagree, The IR might have had a hot tip for the 3:50 at chepstow the day after the deadline.
  • LOlcat
    You got me there :)
  • Benjimoron
    This is the mistake I made last year, not realising that you effectively have to register twice. They weren't very helpful but luckily the deadline was extended one day anyway and paper returns could be done at the same time (not from this year onwards though). Still, was my fault for leaving it until the last minute.
  • jsoap
    The £100 fine is a little misleading. It's actually based on the amount you owe them, up to a maximum of £100. So if you owe £50 then you are fined £50. If owe £200 then you are fined £100. If they owe you money or there is no liability then there is no fine.
  • tony_s1
    Oh, and it's HM Revenue and Customs, not Inland Revenue and has been for nearly four years. Is Bitterwallet trying to pretend to be staffed by real journalists by getting all the detail wrong?
  • May
    What a great site and very informative posts. I will add a backlink and bookmark this site. Thanks

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