If you have missed the filing deadline then don’t delay any further as the penalties increase the longer you leave it. The deadline for filing your 2014 self-assessment tax return online was 31 January 2015. So there is already a penalty of £100. If you file your tax return online more than 3 months late then daily penalties of £10 per day (up to £900) will accrue in addition to the £100 penalty. So there is still time to avoid these daily penalties.
If you file your tax return more than 6 months late, a further penalty will be payable which will be the higher of £300 or 5% of the tax due. There are more penalties if you file your tax return more than 12 months late. In addition to late filing penalties, there are penalties for paying your tax late too. The first late payment penalty is 5% of the tax due if the tax is unpaid after 28 days. There is another 5% penalty if the tax due remains unpaid for 6 months.
Appeals against penalties can be made to HMRC but there are strict guidelines on what constitutes a ‘reasonable excuse’ for non-submission of your self-assessment tax return or payment of any tax due. Earlier this year, HMRC released a list of excuses that were unsuccessful in appeals against penalties:
• My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.
• I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a postbox or get an internet signal.
• I fell in with the wrong crowd.
• I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.
• Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.
• I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.
• A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back.
• I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park.
• My girlfriend’s pregnant.
• I was in Australia.
So don’t try any of these!
Please do contact us if you need help with your tax return, if you’re not sure what you need to do or if you need further clarification. If your tax return is late, then don’t leave it any longer as the penalties will only increase. We’re here to help.