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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 02 January 2015

1,773 happy returns at Christmas

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) received 1,773 Online Tax Returns on Christmas Day; a 13% increase on last year's total of
1,566.  HMRC's Christmas data logs reveal the busiest time for Online Returns, on 25 December, was between midday and 1pm, when 148 Yuletide returns were delivered electronically.  Christmas Eve, traditionally a much busier day for festive filing than the big day itself, saw 17,644 Online Returns successfully submitted. This was up 4% on the 17,000 received on 24 December 2013. Another 4,811 Online Returns ticked all the boxes on Boxing Day; a 7% increase on the 4,493 received last year.  In total, 24,228 Online Returns were received over the 3 day festive period; up 5% on the 2013 total of 23,059.

HMRC Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said:- "You can file your Online Return at any time of day or night; even Christmas Day, if it suits you. But don't leave it too late. Give yourself plenty of time to resolve any problems and if you need to call us, do it now, as our phone lines get much busier as the 31 January 2015, deadline approaches."

The deadline for sending 2013/14 Tax Returns to HMRC, and paying any Tax owed, is 31 January 2015, 2015. All outstanding 2013/14 Tax returns must now be submitted online, as the 31 October 2014, paper filing deadline has passed. To send an Online Tax Return, you must be registered for HMRC Online Services. This involves HMRC sending you an Activation Code in the post, and you need to allow 10 days for it to arrive.

Simple, straightforward advice on Self Assessment can be found at HMRC's new Facebook Page.  Help and advice on filing your return; including how to register for online filing; is also available from the GOV.UK website  or the Self Assessment helpline on:- 0300 200 3310 (open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturday).

Did you know that:-

1. Around 11.2 million people are expected to fill out a Tax return for the 2013/14 Tax year.

2. The penalties for late Tax returns are:-

► An initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no Tax to pay, or if the Tax due is paid on time.

► After 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900.

► After 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the Tax due or £300, whichever is greater.

► After 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

3. There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the Tax unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months.

4. Follow the HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel Ben-my-Chree has resumed scheduled services

THE Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel Ben-my-Chree has resume scheduled services since the 31 December 2014 following the successful completion of repairs to the ship's steering gear over Christmas. The Steam Packet Company brought in specialist engineers from Rolls Royce to assist with repairs to a fault which had meant, on safety grounds, the vessel was unable to sail. The technical issue led to the cancellation of the Birkenhead and Dublin services. The lead to MV Arrow takening over Ben-my-Chree's freight role. Manannan over Christmas had to be in a dry dock, in Liverpool, and also as a result she underwent her annual winter overhaul at the same time. Sailings between Douglas and Heysham continued on a revised schedule until Ben-my-Chree was repaired. Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said:- "It was extremely regrettable for Ben-my-Chree to suffer a mechanical failure at such a busy time and I would like to apologise once again to all our passengers inconvenienced by the disruption to services. We have carried out the repairs as quickly as we could and made every effort to ensure freight transport was not impacted and that passenger services were maintained. I'd like to thank everyone involved in making the vessels available so quickly and at such short notice, which allowed us to ensure continuity of service. I would also like to thank the call centre staff and the many volunteers from other parts of the business who worked into the evening on Saturday and from 6am on Sunday to try and help passengers make alternative travel arrangements. We appreciate some passengers experienced difficulties getting through to our reservations agents, and understand their frustrations. However, more than 2,500 passengers were affected by the weekend cancellations and our operators worked flat out to try and cope with the volume of calls while staff also assisted people who had attended the Sea Terminal. Ensuring every passenger is looked after takes time, and with so many people to help, including many more who had to be informed about changes to the sailing schedules for Monday and Tuesday, I think my colleagues did the best that could be done with limited resources and in difficult circumstances." Let us know if this affected you by mailing us to:-

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