End of Period of Grace

An HMRC concession, ESC B46, was introduced in 1995 and means that HMRC will not issue penalties for late filing of company tax returns or employers’/contractors’ end-of-year returns, provided that they are received by the last working day within seven days of the filing date.

The concession ensures that penalties will not be charged where all reasonable steps to file the returns on time have been taken. However, all forms P35 and P14 must already be filed online by the majority of businesses and contractors are no longer required to file end-of-year construction industry returns. In addition, from 1 April 2011 company tax returns for accounting periods ending after 31 March 2010 must be filed online. Therefore, ESC B46 has become redundant and so will come to an end on 31 March 2011. Any businesses filing a return late will have to show that they had a reasonable excuse for the delay in filing to avoid a penalty.