Self-assessment: why join the 900,000 who file late and get a fine?




You've got the January blues so it must be time to fill in your self-assessment tax return. But that's something a lot of people can't face, with 10 per cent of Britain's nine million self-assessors expected to miss the 31 January deadline despite the prospect of a £100 fine.

But late entries are not the only headache for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) this year. Threatened strike action by staff in the run-up to the deadline could result in delays to the processing of both paper and online tax returns.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, says: "The concern with the strike action is that your return or payment may make it to the HMRC office on time, but there may not be the appropriate people to process it. If you know you got everything in on time, but still receive a fine, appeal."

Some 150,000 self-assessment returns were received over the internet in the 24 hours running up to last year's deadline. During the filing peak, the HMRC website was processing more than 100 every minute.

Almost 2.9 million people filed online last year – a 40 per cent increase on the previous year. But be warned: if you plan to return your self-assessment form over the internet this year, you must register before 22 January in order to receive your registration and password details before 31 January.

If, despite a year's notice, you are one of the 900,000 expected to miss the deadline, it may not be a total disaster. Not all of those who file late will be subject to the £100 penalty charge as it is capped according to how much tax is actually due on that date. If, for example, you are late but owe no tax, typically because it is collected via your PAYE employment, then there would be no penalty for the delay. And if your reason for filing late is a good one, HMRC may waive the fine altogether.

"But at this stage, get your return in on time and get it right," warns Mr Roy-Chowdhury. "It will cost you more if there is a problem, so make sure it is as complete as possible and, if you are still waiting for a few documents, flag that up on your return form."

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

    £23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

    MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

    Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

    £16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

    Day In a Page

    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

    Magnetic north

    The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
    Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

    Front National family feud?

    Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
    Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

    Pot of gold

    Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
    10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

    From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

    While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
    Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore