Live updates

What is a 'reasonable' excuse for a late tax return?

HM Revenue and Customs has reportedly waived a £100 fine for people who have a "reasonable" excuse for filing their tax returns late.

Its website states that a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline is "normally something unexpected or outside your control that stopped you meeting a tax obligation" and includes:

  • The recent death of a partner
  • An unexpected stay in hospital
  • Computer failures
  • Service issues with the tax authority's online services
  • A fire which prevented the completion of a tax return
  • Postal delays

HMRC waives late tax return £100 fine

Credit: PA

People who filed late tax returns have been let off a £100 fine for missing the deadline, it has been reported.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has waived the penalty for those who provided a "reasonable" excuse for being late, according to the Daily Telegraph.

An internal memo leaked to the newspaper revealed that HMRC staff were asked to write off the fine without further investigation for individuals who could show mitigating circumstances, and who appealed after paying their tax bill.

The January 31 deadline for completing tax self-assessment forms was reportedly missed by 890,000 people.

A HMRC spokesman told the Telegraph: "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."


Trader first to face trial over alleged fixing of bank rates

A high flying city trader became the first person to go on trial for the alleged criminal fixing of international bank lending rates. Tom Hayes is accused of rigging the Libor rate - which underpins the price of trillions of pounds worth of mortgages and loans.

Prosecutors told the court Tom Hayes was greedy and dishonest motivated only by money. He was a highly successful trader but, it was claimed, the ringmaster of a huge fixing scandal.

ITV News correspondent Juliet Bremner reports:

Trial begins for 'greedy' trader accused of fixing Libor rates

A "wholly dishonest, greedy" trader did "everything in his power" to manipulate interbank lending rates in a bid to rake in ever-higher wages, a court heard.

Former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes, aged 35, appeared before a jury at Southwark Crown Court today charged with eight counts of conspiracy to defraud between 2006 and 2010.

The trial of Tom Hayes began today Credit: PA

He stands accused of deliberately rigging the rates, known as the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), to earn more cash.

Mukul Chawla QC, prosecuting, said Hayes had been "motivated by greed".

He was the ringmaster at the very centre, telling others around him what to do and in a number of cases rewarding them for their dishonest assistance.

Mr Hayes's desire was to earn and make as much money as he could. The more that he earned for his employers, the more they would value his services and, inevitably, the more that they would pay him.

All bankers want to maximise their profits, but Mr Hayes did it in a wholly dishonest way, concerned wholly with his profits and wholly unconcerned by the fact that he was cheating those with whom he was trading.

– Mukul Chawla QC

Hayes also managed to fix the rates at banks he did not work at, the court heard, by approaching middlemen known as brokers.

He denies the charges.

The trial continues.

Ryanair reports 66% rise in profits

Ryanair has reported a significant rise in profits.

Ryanair has reported a huge rise in profits. Credit: PA Wire

The Irish airline said net profit for the year to the end of March had surged by 66% to €867 million (£614 million).

Passenger numbers increased by 11% - almost three times the targeted level - to 90.6 million customers.

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said the firm had attracted millions of new customers through the success of its “Always Getting Better” customer experience programme.

Apprenticeship system 'struggling' to cope, report finds

Research has found 11 applicants for every apprenticeship vacancy. Credit: Jan Haas / DPA/PA Images

The apprenticeship system is "struggling" to cope with demand as figures suggest there are around 11 applicants for every vacancy, according to a new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

The research also found two in five apprentices starting since 2010 were over 25.

In total, there were 1.8 million applicants for 166,000 advertised vacancies last year, while 67% of higher level apprenticeships were given to people already employed.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which commissioned the research, said it indicated the system was being used to train older workers and young people were missing out.

At present, too many new apprenticeships are low skilled and taken by older people already in work with their employer.

Too few new apprentices are school-leavers trying to get their first job, and too few are getting the construction skills to build the homes and roads our local communities need.

With the greatest will, government alone cannot engage over two million employers from Whitehall.

Rather than spend more money on a struggling system, this research underlines the need for devolved training that enables partnerships of councils, schools, colleges and employers to both boost opportunities locally and to ensure youngsters get the skills, experience and advice to thrive.

– Cllr Peter Box, economy spokesman for the LGA


Banks 'working to restore trust' after Forex scandal

Antony Jenkins, chief executive at Barclays, apologised for the bank's role in the scandal.

The misconduct at the core of these investigations is wholly incompatible with Barclays' purpose and values and we deeply regret that it occurred.

I share the frustration of shareholders and colleagues that some individuals have once more brought our company and industry into disrepute.

– Barclays

RBS has also so far dismissed three staff and a further two are suspended.

The serious misconduct that lies at the heart of today's announcements has no place in the bank that I am building.

Pleading guilty for such wrongdoing is another stark reminder of how badly this bank lost its way and how important it is for us to regain trust.

– Ross McEwan, RBS chief executive

RBS fined £430 million by US authorities in Forex scandal

RBS Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Royal Bank of Scotland i among five banks hit with fines over involvement in the rigging of global currency markets and has agreed to pay $669 million (£430 million) to US authorities.

It comes on top of a £399 million penalty last November, including £217 million by the FCA and $290 million (£186 million) by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Load more updates