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Self Assessment penalty: what happens if you miss the self assessment tax return deadline?

Someone filing a tax return sheet - imageWhen it comes to Self Assessment, there are two things you must know – the deadlines for paper and online tax returns respectively, and the penalties if you miss the deadline.

The gov.uk site breaks down the deadlines for you:

  • Self Assessment paper tax returns by 31 October
  • Self Assessment online tax returns by 31 January
  • Pay the tax you owe by 31 January

Also, for those who are self-employed or sole trader, not self-employed or registering a partner or partnership, the deadline to register for Self Assessment is 5 October.

This post looks at what happens if you miss the deadline for submitting your tax returns or paying your bill.

Self Assessment penalties

If you miss by one day and up to the first three months, you’ll be charged £100, no matter what. Even if you do not owe any tax, you can still be fined.

After the initial three months and up to six months late, you’ll be charged £100 plus £10 each day up to a 90-day maximum of £900. In short, the maximum fine could be £1,000.

After the initial six months and up to nine months late, you’ll be charged the penalty above, plus a fine of either £300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is higher.

You will pay more if it is later and the HMRC site has a page where you can estimate your penalty for late Self Assessment tax returns and payments.

Appealing the penalty

You can appeal the fine if you have a valid reason or reasonable excuse for submitting the return late.

According to the gov.uk site, the following may count as a reasonable excuse:

  • Death of a partner or a close relative shortly before the tax return or payment deadline
  • An unexpected stay in hospital
  • A serious or life-threatening illness
  • Failure of your computer or software
  • HMRC online service issues
  • A fire, flood or theft
  • Postal delays
  • Delays due to a disability you have

HMRC will not consider your appeal if your excuses include someone else had failed to submit your return, you didn’t have enough money to prevent a bounced cheque, you found the HMRC online system too difficult to use, you didn’t get a reminder from HMRC or you made a mistake on your tax return.

Sort it today with Tax Agility

Tax returns can be a daunting process and submitting a day late can see you paying a financial penalty. Speak to our expert tax accountants from Tax Agility to help you get it right and file your return before the deadline.

To find out more, or to take advantage of our free, no obligation first meeting, get in touch on 020 8108 0090 or fill out our Online Form.

This article was updated on 16 Jan 2019.

This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business/ accounting issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. 

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