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HMRC will not be issuing receipts for hand delivered SA Returns

Thank you to all those who responded on the proposal for Enquiry Centres not to issue receipts for SA Returns delivered by hand to local offices.

We have reviewed all the responses and a number of them recognise our reasoning for looking to stop the issue of these receipts. But the main concern expressed in most if not all of the responses centres around the need for proof that a return was received in order to defend an incorrect penalty notice.

We can understand that concern. And whilst we are putting a lot of effort into ensuring that all returns received are logged correctly and timeously, we accept that given the sheer scale of the operation means it is always possible that some mistakes may be made. But our experience shows that in relation to the total number of returns received those which are not logged correctly represent an extremely small percentage. However, we understand also that an incorrect penalty notice can have a negative effect on the agent -client relationship.

In view of this, we have issued guidance to our staff that in the event of an agent challenging a penalty notice on the basis that the return had in fact been lodged, we should accept any reasonable evidence the agent has that the return was filed on time.

It is not possible to be prescriptive as to what evidence we will accept as this may vary between agents. But the key message is that we are looking to take a reasonable view.

We hope that this allays any concerns likely to be caused by our offices not giving receipts.