If a person has missed the January 31st online tax return deadline, by either not filing a required tax return or not making the full payment required by that date, they are automatically charged a penalty fine of £100.
People are notified about the situation in February giving them ample time to get up to date before an additional £10 is added to their tax bill per day from May (3 months from January 31st).
Due to increased workload at HMRC from preparations with leaving the EU, fine notice letters are not being sent until late April - very close to May - and there are fears that people will start accruing £10 increases in tax debt by the time notice letters hit their doormats.
Nearly 750,000 people are subject to the automatic £100 penalty due to missing the January deadline, a sum in penalties of around £75 million. Just an extra day of £10 fines would net HMRC an additional £7.5 million.
HMRC has stated that daily penalties will only be applied in appropriate cases and people will not be penalised unfairly. They have delayed sending out penalty letters in order to free up and re-purpose call center staff to deal with queries related to the exit from the European Union.