Over half a million fewer penalties for late tax returns will be issued than at the same time last year, HMRC has revealed.
The department will, nonetheless, still be sending out 850,000 £100 fee notifications to individuals who failed to file their 2010/11 Self-Assessment papers before the 2 February 2012 deadline.
The figure of 550,000 less late-comers was likely to have been influenced by the allocation of two extra days that HMRC provided for receiving tax returns, following a staff strike scheduled for the original cut-off date of 31 January.
Those who still have not sent their returns are encouraged to do so by HMRC, given that the fine amount will, after three months, increase by £10 a day for 90 subsequent days.
Stephen Baynard, HMRC's acting director general personal tax, said: 'We want the returns, not the penalties. So anyone who still hasn't sent theirs should do so as soon as possible.'
Anyone in receipt of one of the penalty notices will be able to appeal should they have a 'reasonable excuse', including illness, family bereavement or delayed issuing of an activation code by HMRC.
For those that don't believe they should be in Self Assessment, HMRC advise calling 0845 900 0444 to cancel the fee.
0113 815 1315
15 Queens Square, Leeds, LS2 8AJ