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31stJanuary has come and gone. If you’ve missed the deadline for your self assessment tax return, you’re not alone. Last year there were nearly three quarters of a million people who missed the tax return deadline, and it’s likely this year will be no different, with HMRC, accountants and Insolvency Practitioners being inundated with calls from those who’re late.
How much will I have to pay for missing the deadline
31st January represented a deadline for both self assessment tax returns and for paying the tax shown on them. Missing the deadline for the return attracts a penalty of £100, plus £10 per day for up to three months. Being late paying the tax has a separate fine of £50 as well as 5% interest being charged on the tax once it’s 30 days overdue.
Because of this, the amount you’ll pay in penalties depends on how much you owe and how late you are, but to help you work out how much you’ll have to pay in penalties and interest, the Government has a web page to help you estimate your penalty.
Can I Appeal the fine for having missed the deadline?
HM revenue and Customs understand that sometimes circumstances get in the way. With this being the case, there is an appeals system to allow those who missed the deadline for self assessment tax returns to explain why and ask for the fine to be waived.
Before you consider this route however, bear in mind that there are strict guidelines on what might be accepted as a reasonable excuse. In general, the reason must be something unforeseen or beyond your control which prevented you from submitting on time.
Around this time of year, HMRC sometimes publish lists of the worst excuses they’ve received as to why tax returns and payments were submitted late. It’s worthwhile reviewing these and if any resemble your own reason, then it’s best to simply file your return, pay what you need to and be a little more organised next time.
What if I can’t afford to pay my self assessment tax?
If you don’t have the funds to pay the tax you owe, it’s essential to contact HMRC straight away and explain your circumstances. They’d generally prefer that people get in touch to explain they’re in difficulty before tax becomes due, but will still listen.
If you’re offered an extension known as a Time to Pay Arrangement then you’ll at least have a little breathing space, but it’s important not to agree to anything you won’t be able to afford as this may make matters worse. Also, please remember that HMRC consider a Time to Pay Arrangement as a privilege not a right which means that they do not have to agree to one.
The worst thing to do is nothing at all, if you’re worried about your tax bill getting out of hand and the proceedings which might follow, it’s important to act fast. As Lines Henry, we offer a free consultation, so if any of the above applies to you, contact us right now and get the advice you need to limit the effects of your late tax or tax return.