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HMRC might not be allowed to fine you £100 for filing your tax return late

A judgement could lead to a flood of appeals against the fines (Photo by: Loop Images/UIG via Getty Images)

Up and down Britain, self-employed workers are already in a cold sweat as the January 31st deadline for self-employment tax returns looms.

But the dreaded £100 fine that HMRC hands out to the hundreds of thousands of us who fail to file on time might not actually be legal, a judge has said.

The judgement, at a tribunal hearing over a fine, suggests that it’s only legal to hand out such a fine if it’s done by a human employee – not an automated process.

The judgement could lead to a flood of appeals… Read the full story