What to do if you miss the tax deadline

What to do if you miss the tax deadline

If you missed the deadline for filling a paper tax, which is 31 October, or online self-assessment submissions (SA100 or SA200), which is 31 January, there is not much you can do. However, know that the more you delay, the more fine you’ll have to pay. Also, if you don’t pay, you will make things worse as you will be charged interest that will be estimated from the date you had to pay and onwards. Although the interest rate varies, you can visit the HMRC’s website to check the current rate payable.

When it comes to tax returns, most taxpayers in the UK don’t have to fill in a tax return because they have tax deducted at source via PAYE (Pay As You Earn). That aside, the completion of a self-assessment tax return is mandatory for more than 10 million people and is submitted to their tax office.

Am I eligible for a self-assessment tax return?

If you are, HMRC will contact you. Now, if you haven’t heard from them but think you should file a return, it’s best to visit HRMC website and check out if you are eligible. In the opposite case, meaning the HMRC has asked you to complete a tax return but you think you shouldn’t, you must contact HRMC to avoid penalties if you miss the deadline.

Do I need to fill a self-assessment tax return?

Filling a SA100 or SA200 is obligatory if you have a “name” at the insurance market of Lloyd’s of London or an income more than £10,000 (pre-tax) or are:
• Director of a limited company.
• Business partner of a limited company.
• Pensioner or employee and your income exceeds £100,000 per year.
• A minister of religion.
• A representative or trustee of someone that has passed away.

Note, though, that if you receive a self-assessment tax form, you will have to fill it in, according to the existing law.

When is it OK to fill late?

There are some “reasonable” excuses that HMRC will consider if you are running late in your payment. According to the HMRC website, an excuse for not paying on time is “normally something unexpected or outside your control that stopped you meeting a tax obligation”.

That could be the death of a partner, a fire that has caused a delay in the completion of a tax return, an unexpected need to be hospitalised, and glitches in the online services of the tax authority or computer failures.

Nevertheless, every case is unique; therefore it will be considered on its own merits. That said, it is always much more preferred to file your return before the expiration of the due date.

What to do if I missed the paper deadline for returning my form to HMRC?

In this case, it’s best not to send it off late or you will have to face a fine. If that happens, though, use the UTR (Unique Taxpayer Reference) provided to you by the HMRC and complete the return online.

Note: Regardless of the online deadline, you shouldn’t submit the paper return late. Also, don’t think that completing an online tax return and submitting a paper return late will work for you.

What am I against regarding fines and penalties?

If you don’t submit the tax return paper on time, you will be subjected to the following fines:

  • One day late – £100 penalty that is issued automatically and is applied even if you have paid the owed tax or have no tax to pay.
  • 90 days late – £10 penalty for every following day, on top of the £100 fine mentioned above. This means that you may end up with a penalty of around £1000.
  • Six months late – The penalty in this case is either 5% of the tax due or a fixed amount of £300. Expect to be obliged to pay the fine that’s higher AND the fines already mentioned before.
  • Twelve months late – Again, it is either 5% of the tax due or £300 (you pay the higher) AND all the fines above.
  • 12+ months late – This is a serious case and you may be called to pay any due tax you owe AND up to 100% of the tax due.

All in all, it’s advised not to miss your deadlines to avoid all the fines and significant inconvenience that will follow.

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