It has been reported that almost 1 million people who filed late tax returns have had the £100 fine waived.

As reported in the Daily Telegraph, tax officials will no longer check why a self assessment return has not been filed on time as long as a reasonable excuse is given.

In a leaked HMRC memo, tax officials were instructed to waive fines without investigation for those who could show mitigating circumstances and who had appealed after paying their tax bill.

It was reported that staff had been taken off the call centres to work through the huge backlog of mail received from taxpayers.

A HMRC spokesman said “We want to focus more and more of our resources on investigating major tax avoidance and evasion rather than penalising ordinary people who are trying to do the right thing.”

A spokesman confirmed that as long as the excuse given matches that of HMRC’s criteria, then the £100 would be written off without the need for further investigation.

Click here for HMRC’s “reasonable excuses”

HMRC are currently giving consideration to scrapping the £100 fine altogether with consultations being held at the beginning of May.

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