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Late filing of Self Assessment tax returns
04/05/2016

The Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) aims to improve the policy and processes of the tax, tax credits and associated welfare systems for the benefit of those on low incomes. The LITRG has recently published a press release urging anyone who has not yet filed their online Self Assessment tax return with HMRC for the year ended 5 April 2015, to do so as soon as possible.

Taxpayers that have not yet filed their 2014-15 Self Assessment returns will have been charged an automatic £100 penalty for late submission. The penalty applied from 1 February 2016 even if no tax was due or the tax due was paid on time.
 
However, taxpayers who were meant to file online by 31 January 2016, and have still not filed their 2014-15 return, are reminded that they will face far greater penalties. A daily penalty of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900 (90 days) is being charged from 1 May 2016.
 
Further penalties then apply if the return is still outstanding for more than 6 months after the 31 January 2016 filing deadline. From 1 August 2016 taxpayers will be charged the greater of £300 or 5% of the tax due. If the return is outstanding one year after the filing deadline, further penalties will be charged from 1 February 2017.

We echo the comments of Anthony Thomas, LITRG Chairman who said:

'We would strongly urge anyone with an overdue return to submit it as soon as possible; and to do so online as a paper return for 2014/15 will already attract the maximum £1,000 penalty. You can then appeal against the fines by writing to HMRC to explain why the return has been filed late.'

HMRC has been taking a more pragmatic approach in respect of taxpayers that file a late return. This approach may apply to those that have a reasonable excuse for filing a Self Assessment return late. However, taxpayers must have had a good reason for sending in a late return.


 

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