12 Days of Tax Tips – Day 8

Are there penalties for late filing of my tax return?

Is the sky blue?

Oh yes, there are penalties for getting your self-assessment tax return in late, and also for paying late. If you are sitting comfortably, I’ll begin.

If you receive a notice to file a tax return, you are legally obliged to complete it and return it (paper or on-line) even if you think it is not relevant to you or if you know you tax liability will be zero.

Late filing penaltiesOverdue

Should you wish to make a paper tax return, it must be done by the 31st October. If the deadline is passed, the only option is to have it done by the 31st January online. Should HMRC advise you to complete a tax return after the 31st July, they do give an extra 3 months grace to have it done.

If you don’t get your online tax return done by the 31st January , you will receive a penalty of £100 even if you don’t owe any tax. As it is all computerised, the computer knows if you press submit at 23:59 on the 31st January or 00:01 on the 1st February. You may not want to leave it that late especially if the internet goes down or one of the clocks are slightly out.

If you leave the return for 3 months, you will then start to get a £10 a day penalty which mounts up quickly. It does include weekends ! It does stop at £900.

If you don’t file your tax return for 6months, you’ll get a further £300 or 5% of the tax owed if greater.

Should you go the whole hog and not file for 12 months, then there is another £300 penalty plus 5% of the tax owing or greater. HMRC are able to give out a higher penalty of up to 100% of the tax due.

So – If you don’t have any tax to pay and you don’t file you self assessment tax return for 12 months, you could be looking at penalties of £1600.

Late payment charges

Late filing penalties is only the start of it. I f you pay late, you also get penalised.

  • unpaid after 30 days, then there is a 5% charge of the tax due;
  • unpaid after 6 months, then there is a further 5% charge of the tax due;
  • unpaid after 12 months, then there is a another 5% charge of the tax due;

These fines happen even if you do not owe any tax.


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