THERE’S just one day left to file self-assessment tax returns if you want to avoid hefty fines but 1.9million people have yet to do so.
According to HMRC, more than 9.5million returns have been received as of today, but there are still 1.9million who need to file before the 11.59pm deadline on January 31.
Last year, almost 11.5million tax returns were due, yet only 10.7million returns were submitted on time.
Fail to file on time and you could be slammed with fines of up to £1,000 – although you can appeal a penalty if you have a reasonable excuse.
You will be hit with a £100 fee if you file more than three months late, followed by an additional £10 a day up to a maximum of 90 days (£900).
After six months, a further penalty of 5 per cent of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater, will be applied.
And if you still haven’t filed your return after a year, you’ll be hit with another 5 per cent or £300 charge, whichever is greater.
There are also additional penalties for paying your tax late of 5 per cent of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six months and 12 months.
You can calculate how much your fine will be on the GOV.UK website.
The deadline on January 31 is for the last tax year, which started on April 6, 2017 and ended on April 5, 2018.
How do you know if you need to submit a tax return?
Self-assessment is a system HMRC uses to collect income tax.
Tax is usually deducted automatically from wages, pensions and savings, but people and businesses with other incomes must report it in a tax return.
We’ve made a list of who it applies to below:
- Earned more than £2,500 from renting out property
- You or your partner received high income child benefits and either of you had an annual income of more than £50,000
- Received more than £2,500 in other untaxed income, for example from tips or commission
- Are self-employed sole traders
- Are limited company directors
- Are shareholders
- Are employees claiming expenses in excess of £2,500
- Have an annual income over £100,000
HMRC accepts your payment on the date you make it, not the date it reaches its account – including on weekends.
So if you want to pay by bank transfer you can do so up until the evening of January 31, but it’s best to get it out the way in advance.
If you need to change your tax return after you’ve filed it, you can do so within 12 months of the original deadline or you can write to HMRC for any changes after that.
The deadline to register for self-assessment for the first-time was on October 5, so if you’re required to complete a tax return this year and haven’t yet registered, you should contact HMRC as soon as you can.
Meanwhile, the deadline for filing tax returns by paper was at the end of October.
To sign in or register visit the “Self Assessment tax return” section of HMRC’s website.
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If you find yourself submitting your tax return after the deadline, here are some of the excuses HMRC will accept.
But if you get emails from HMRC claiming you are owed a tax refund, make sure you double-check it’s actually not a phishing scam before you give any details.
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