Haven’t Kept Up To Date With Your Tax? Here’s What You Need To Know


Have you found yourself falling behind with your tax? Do you have a looming deadline that’s sending your anxiety levels through the roof? Then here’s some information to help you decide on your next steps and more importantly, give you an idea of what to expect in terms of penalties you could potentially face.

Tax Returns – Penalties For Late Returns And Mistakes

If you have or look set to miss the deadline to file your self-assessment tax return then you may find yourself facing an automatic charge of  £100. The deadlines for paper and online returns are different with the paper returns being needed by October 31 and online returns being needed by January 31. If you find yourself more than a day late, potential fines could be a lot worse than £100 according to this blogpost. It’s worth remembering that if you’re part of a partnership, each member of said partnership could be charged £100 individually.

It’s not just lateness you could be fined for. You can also find yourself receiving penalties due to mistakes on your tax return too. The charge you receive however, will simply be down to whether or not HMRC believes you’ve simply been careless or have intentionally tried to lie. Penalties are also based on the amount of tax you owe and are then payable in addition to the amount you owe in tax also. Penalties for carelessness can range anywhere from 0%-30% whereas penalties for fraud can range from 20%-70%. If you even further an attempt to conceal the fact then your penalty could be anywhere from 30%-100%.

Paying Your Tax Bill Late

In addition to penalties for late filing, you can also incur charges for late payment too. The deadlines for payment on outstanding tax is January 31 after the tax year unless of course you’re paying through PAYE. The interest added on top if you miss your deadline can be anywhere from 3.25% however, it does vary so take this as an estimate. You could face further penalties too should you miss the July 31 deadline too which is another approximately 5%. Once again, these are separate and in addition to your tax owed. To laymen’s terms, for every day past the deadline you’re late, you’re charged a daily interest as well as a £150 charge after 30 days and once again 6 months later.

Reasonable Excuses

There are of course reasonable excuses. Life happens and HMRC do have certain ‘reasonable excuses’ that they will accept. These are usually deemed as something completely out of your control and unexpected. For instance, the recent death of a partner or a computer failure could be a reasonable excuse and if accepted by HMRC could see them waiver your charges.

Getting The Right Help

If you’d like help and guidance, you could always contact HMRC Self Assessment Helpline on 0845 900 0444 however, if you’d like to avoid getting yourself into this situation in the first place, we suggest you contact a professional accountant to help you this coming year. We recommend calling one of the UK’s leading accountancy firms, Salient Accounting & Finance, on 01268 833 828 for a professional and reliable service every single time.