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Paper shortage delays tax reminder letters

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said that almost half a million self assessment taxpayers will be late in receiving their July tax reminders.

The tax reminders usually go out to notify people of the second on account sum that needs to be paid by 31 July.

However, a paper shortage means that some 500,000 taxpayers, mostly those with Unique Taxpayer Reference numbers ending with digits from 70 to 99, won’t be getting their reminders on time. The majority have been sent as planned.

The shortage came about as a result of an unexpected rise in the number of July statements that have had to be issued.

Normally interest on the sum is due if the payment is made late. But HMRC has reassured that anyone who receives their statement in August will be given 30 days in which to make the appropriate payment after they get the reminder. Only then will interest become chargeable.

A HMRC spokesman said: “Due to exceptionally high demand this year we are experiencing delays in sending paper self assessment tax statements to customers.

“This in no way prevents the accurate payment of tax and no one will be out of pocket as a result. Account information can be viewed on line so it isn’t necessary to wait for a paper statement.

“We very much regret any inconvenience and will send paper statements to everyone who should have one as soon as possible. People who pay late because of our error wont have to pay interest.”