• What to do if you’ve missed the self-assessment tax return deadline Feb 10, 2020
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    The 31st of January has come and gone, the looming deadline a thing of the past… for those who actually hit it. Because, even though 11.1 million upstanding members of society hit the self-assessment tax return deadline just in the nick of time - a whopping 958,296 (that’s nearly ONE MILLION people) ended up missing it.

    Now first things first let me tell you, filing a tax return is no walk in the park. I was one of the lastminute.com wallys, phoning HMRC three days before the deadline in a panic about a figure I couldn’t reconcile and even then I was on hold for about 45 minutes until one of HMRC’s angels answered (they were fab FYI). Well, that’s nothing because on the actual day of the deadline more than 700,000 people submitted their returns, and of those, 25,562 did so in the last hour before the deadline!

    What I’m saying is, we’re all as bad as each other and a lot of us leave things last minute, but even with the best intentions, you may end up missing the deadline as there are just SO many people doing the same thing who also need help. Or maybe you just straight up didn’t care and said you’d do it later. Either way, you’ve missed it, what happens now?

    You guessed it - fines! Except, of course, if you have a genuine excuse for why you missed the deadline as HMRC is actually pretty lenient on this. They have advised that you get in touch with them as soon as possible if this is the case:

    “The department will treat those with genuine excuses leniently, as it focuses penalties on those who persistently fail to complete their tax returns and deliberate tax evaders” - Angela MacDonald, director general for customer services at HMRC.

    Again, it’s best to do this ASAP as fines can be issued immediately for late filings. Which? have put together a succinct and handy summary of what fines you could be expected to pay if you don’t pull the finger out.

    For late tax returns:
    • One day late: £100 fine.
    • Up to three months late: £10 for each additional day (capped at 90 days), plus initial £100 fine.
    • Six months late: Either £300 or 5% of the tax due (whichever is higher), plus the penalties above.
    • 12 months late: All penalties above, plus another £300 or 5% of the tax due. In some cases, you can be fined up to 100% of the tax due.
    For late tax payments:
    • One day late: Charged interest on what you owe (currently 3.25%).
    • 30 days late: Charge of 5% of the tax due.
    • Six months late: Additional 5% charge.
    So come on, don’t put yourself through the stress - get it together and get in touch!

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    Written by Aoibheann Byrne | BrightPay Payroll Software
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