HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will contact you, usually in April, if they think you need to fill in a tax return.
You'll receive a letter which explains when you'll need to send your tax return back. If you've previously sent your return on paper, you'll receive a paper tax return.
If HMRC hasn't contacted you, but you think you may need to complete a tax return, make sure to get expert advice so you dont get fined.
If HMRC asks you to complete a tax return but you think you don't need to, let HMRC know. It's important to do this as soon as possible. If you don't you may have to pay a penalty.
Deadlines for sending in your tax return 31 October: all paper returns If you send a paper tax return it must reach HMRC by midnight on 31 October.
You only have longer than this if you received the letter, telling you to send a tax return, after 31 July. In this case you'll have three months from the date you received that letter.
31 January: online returns - Your online tax return must reach HMRC by midnight on 31 January.
You only have longer than this if you received the letter, telling you to send a tax return, after 31 October. In this case you'll have three months from the date you received that letter.
There's an earlier deadline of 30 December if you want HMRC to collect any tax you owe through your tax code. You now can ask for this if you owe less than £3,000. HMRC will try to collect the tax due through your code, but they can't always do so. Again make sure you have expert advice.
Penalties if you miss the tax return deadline, the longer you delay, the more you'll have to pay. So it's important to send your tax return to HMRC as soon as you can. The examples below shows the penalties you'll have to pay if your tax return is late. If a Partnership tax return is late, each partner will have to pay the penalties shown below.
Penalties for missing the tax return deadline including length of delay:
Penalty you will have to pay:
1 day late
A penalty of £100. This applies even if you have no tax to pay or have paid the tax you owe.
3 months late
£10 for each following day - up to a 90 day maximum of £900. This is as well as the fixed penalty above.
6 months late
£300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher. This is as well as the penalties above.
12 months late £300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher.
In serious cases you may be asked to pay up to 100% of the tax due instead.
These are as well as the penalties above.
For example: Mrs A's tax return is due on 31 January 2013 but HMRC doesn't receive it until 5 August 2013.
It is over six months late so she will have to pay all of the following:
Receiving a tax estimate - if your return is late
If you don't send your return by the deadline HMRC may estimate the tax you owe. You will have to pay this and also pay interest on any tax that you pay late. You can only change this estimate by sending your tax return. You will also have to pay any penalties due for missing the tax return deadline.
Deadlines for paying your tax 31 January You must pay any tax you owe by 31 January following the end of the tax year.
For example, for the tax year 2011-12 (ending on 5 April 2012) you must pay any tax you owe by 31 January 2013.
The payment deadline is the same for both paper and online returns.
You'll need to pay one or both of the following:
HMRC will usually send you a 'Self Assessment Statement' that shows how much you owe. If you don't receive this, you'll need to work out the tax due yourself. You can use your local Tax Affinity Accountant to help you with this.
31 July This is your deadline for making any further payments on account. For example on 31 July 2012, you'd make your second payment on account for the 2011-12 tax year.
Interest and penalties if you don't pay your tax on time
If you don't pay the tax you owe for the previous tax year on time, the longer you delay, the more you'll have to pay. So it's important to pay the tax as soon as you can.
Penalties for paying late Length of delay including penalty you will have to pay:
Thirty days late
5% of the tax you owe at that date
Six months late
5% of the tax you owe at that date. This is as well as the 5% above.
Twelve months late
5% of the tax unpaid at that date. This as well as the two 5% penalties above
The penalties above do not apply to any payments on account that you pay late.
Interest charges if you pay late You will have to pay interest on anything you owe and haven't paid, including any unpaid penalties, until HMRC receives your payment.
Example Mr T's tax for the 2011-12 tax year is due on 31 January 2013. HMRC doesn't receive it until 5 Aug 2013.
It is over six months late so he will have to pay all of the following:
Late return and payment penalties before 6 April 2011. In some cases, you may have to pay a penalty under the 'old rules' that applied before 6 April 2011. For example if HMRC asked you to fill in a 2009-10 tax return and you still haven't sent it back. Again by speaking to your local Tax Affinity Accountant - we are the small business experts and know what to say and do on our your behalf.
This blog is written by Tax Affinity and by their experienced and qualified Accountants. To read more helpful tax advice by Tax Affinity go to www.taxaffinity.com/blog
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