Taxpayers face fines for late forms

A total of 3.4 million people - 37 per cent of the taxpayers - face fines of pounds 100 each if they do not return their forms by the end of the month, yielding the Treasury up to pounds 340m, it emerged yesterday. Rory McGrath, the comedian (above), joined Hector the Tax Inspector in urging self-employed taxpayers to return their forms and tax payments by 31 January. Surcharges for late payment will also begin after that date. However, Revenue officials insisted that 90 per cent of the remaining forms were due from accountants and tax agents, who always returned clients' forms at the last minute. So far 5.6 million of the 9 million returns have been completed and filed with the tax inspectors, as of 31 December.

Photograph: Christian Schwetz