AROUND 400,000 taxpayers will shortly receive a notice demanding a pounds 100 penalty because have still not filed their tax return for 1996-97 by the time offices closed last night. These are the hard core who missed the deadline last September to file their returns and wait for the taxman to asses their liabilities and then failed to meet the second deadline to submit their forms and calculate and pay their own liability by 31 January. Those who submitted the forms but have not yet paid the tax now face a 5 per cent surcharge on top of the interest at 9.5 per cent they have been paying since the end of January,
Yesterday was also the deadline for over 8m people mainly high rate taxpayers, directors and the self-employed to pay the second instalment of tax due on account for the year to April 1998. The revenue is expecting to net pounds 4.3 billion and unpaid tax starts earning interest at 9.5 per cent a year from today. Earlier last week less than 2m people had paid but many more will have done so at the last minute, the Inland Revenue said yesterday.