HMRC late-tax penalty rise is 'clawing money from taxpayers'

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The Independent Online

HM Revenue & Customs has been accused of introducing a sneaky and unnecessary interest rate hike on late payment of taxes. Accountants UHY Hacker Young pointed out that HMRC is hiking the rate of interest payable on late taxes to 3 per cent on the majority of taxes from 29 September. It currently stands at 2.5 per cent.

"This is simply about HMRC clawing more money from taxpayers because of the desperate state of the public finances," said Clive Gawthorpe, a partner at UHY Hacker Young.

"The rate charged by HMRC on late payment will be six times higher than the Bank of England base rate for most taxes. Banks found it difficult to justify this kind of behaviour and have faced accusations of usury from the Government itself. Why not harmonise the rate at 1.5 per cent charged for some corporation tax? That would seem reasonable in view of the current base rate."

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