There are just days left to send your 2012/13 paper tax return to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), if you want to beat the 31 October deadline and avoid a penalty.
Paper tax returns received on or after 1 November will result in a £100 penalty – even if there is no tax to pay or the tax due is paid on time.
If you’re not able to submit a paper return by the end of the month, you can avoid a late-filing penalty by sending your return online by 31 January.
As well as having an extra three months to file, if you file online your tax is calculated automatically and your tax return is processed faster, which means any tax refund you’re due is repaid more quickly.
Registering for HMRC Online Services is simple – just go to www.hmrc.gov.uk/online. If you are sending a paper return close to the deadline, HMRC recommends you obtain proof of posting, as this provides evidence of your posting date in the event of any appeal against a late-filing penalty.
The penalties for late Self Assessment 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 per cent of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and
- after 12 months, another 5 per cent or £300 charge, whichever is greater.
- There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at, 30 days, 6 months, and 12 months.
For general help and advice on completing a return, visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa or call the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8.00am to 8.00pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8.00am to 4.00pm on Saturdays).