The 31st January is the biggest Tax Return Filing deadline of the year. Over 12 million of us should have submitted our Self Assessment Tax Returns by midnight on that date.
As ever, lots of people left it late to submit!
On the 31st January, 700,000 people submitted online, and 26,000 filed in the very last hour. This is despite having had since 6th April 2019 to go through the process.
But 958,296 taxpayers missed the deadline, and now face an automatic fine of £100.
This is regardless of whether they have any tax to pay or not.
How do I know if I need to submit a Tax Return?
You can check whether you need to submit a tax return using the free online checker. This doesn’t send any information to HMRC, so you can use it without worrying that it might!
What should I do now?
If you do need to submit a Return and have missed the deadline, the best thing to do is to get your Return submitted as quickly as possible. Pay any tax that may be due, and pay the penalty too. You may also need to pay an amount towards tax for next year.
To do this, you may need to register for an account and for the necessary log-in codes, which will come out to you by post.
If you don’t submit by the 1st May 2020, a daily penalty of £10 per day will be charged for a maximum of 90 days (£900). From 1st August 2020, you’ll be charged £300 or 5% of any tax due, with further penalties being applied if your Return is still outstanding on the 1st February 2021.
Will HMRC accept an excuse?
They might, but it has to be a good one! They hear an awful lot of very involved excuses, but there are only a few that will get you off the hook.
These were amongst those rejected last year:
- ‘My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me.’
- ‘I’m too short to reach the post box.’
- ‘I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me and my third maid was very slow to learn.’
- ‘Our junior member of staff registered our client in Self Assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses.’
- ‘My boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type.’
If you think you have strong grounds to appeal the late filing penalty, you should do so within 30 days of receiving it.
Acceptable reasons are likely to be similar to the following:
- Your partner or another close relative died shortly before the deadline
- You were hospitalised and couldn’t file before the deadline
- You suffered from a serious illness that prevented you from filing
- HMRC suffered its own technical problems that you can show you were affected by
- You were affected by a fire, a flood, or burglary in the immediate run-up to the deadline
If you need help in preparing your Return, please get in touch.
It’s far better to get this done as quickly as possible than to hope HMRC goes away!
We can help you get organised to submit on time in future, to avoid missing the Tax Return filing deadline, the associated late filing penalties and paying interest on unpaid tax. We may even be able to highlight some reliefs and allowances you may have missed, meaning you pay less tax than you thought!