The Tax Return Initiative was yet another disclosure opportunity designed to allow defaulting taxpayers to bring their tax affairs up to date. This initiative offered the best deal yet - 0% penalties.

At a glance

  • For: higher rate taxpayers
  • When: the campaign started on 3 July and ran until 2 October 2012.
  • Which returns: returns outstanding for tax years 2009-10 or earlier

Outstanding tax must be paid by 2 October, although HMRC may agree payment by instalment. 


  • Any fixed penalties are still due: £100 when a return is late with another £100 for returns that are still outstanding six months later.
  • Tax geared penalties are from 0% to 100% per cent of the tax. HMRC expects that most will not have to pay this penalty.
  • Interest and surcharges are also payable on any tax paid late.

The catch?

This is a good deal but the initiative does not apply to those who have submitted returns and surpressed disclosure of their earlier income. HMRC will apply penalties in cases where fraud is indicated or where a disclosure should have been made under any of the previous disclosure opportunities.

More information: see