What if My Tax Return is Late?
Whilst we cannot stress enough the important of completing your Self-Assessment Tax Return before the deadline of 31st January, unfortunately, things happen that mean your tax return may be a little late. HMRC understand this and allow for ‘reasonable excuses’ for your tax return being late. Under these circumstances, you won’t incur a late filing pentalty by HMRC.
What counts as a reasonable excuse?
For example, if there is bereavement in the family, you have spent unplanned time in hospital, there was a fire/flood or theft or there were issues with HMRC’s online services. You can see a full list of reasonable excuses here.
HMRC released a list of some of the more creative excuses people gave for not completing their tax returns on time last year. Here are five of our favourites:
- My dog ate my tax return… and all of the reminders.
- My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn’t able to send it back.
- A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed.
- I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it.
- I couldn’t complete my tax return because my husband left me and took our accountant with him.
What are the penalties if my Self-Assessment Tax Return is late?
If you submit your tax return after the deadline, you will incur an instant penalty of £100. This penalty applies even if you have no tax to pay or if the tax due is paid on time after three months. There is then an additional penalty of £10 per day up to a maximum of £900. If your tax return is more than six months late, a further penalty of 5% of tax due or £300 (whichever is greater). Then if your return is more than 12 months late, a further 5% or £300 charge (whichever is greater).
There are also additional penalties for paying the tax owed late which is 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six months and twelve months.
You can find a full breakdown of late filing penalties here.
Help with your tax return
The tax experts at Brian Alfred can help you take the hassle out of completing your tax return and claiming your tax rebate. To find out how Brian Alfred can help you, or for more information about our tax rebate offering, call our expert team on 0208 570 1750 or request a callback.