The Self-Assessment Tax Return Deadline and Penalties

Now that Christmas is over for another year, the focus (particularly for an accountant) will quickly shift to the annual self-assessment tax return. As you are no doubt aware this is due for submission by 31 January and any liability due must be settled by the same date. However, what happens if you miss this deadline?

In order to maintain tax compliance, HMRC have a vast array of penalty provisions at their disposal, including penalties for the late filing of the return, late payment of the liability, failure to keep adequate records and inaccurate returns.

The two sets of penalty provisions that will be of particular interest at the end of the month are:


Late filing of the return:

1 day late£100
3 months late£10 per day for up to 90 days (Maximum £900)
6 months lateMinimum of £300 or 5% of the tax due, if greater
12 months lateMinimum of £300 or up to 100% of the tax due, if greater

The above late filing penalties will apply regardless of whether you actually owe any tax!  


Late payment of the liability:

30 days late5% of the tax due
6 months late5% of the tax due
12 months late5% of the tax due

Remember, submitting your tax return early doesn’t alter when the tax is due, it just gives more time to consider any available planning options and save for the liability. Not only that, it will keep your accountant happy!

Article written by Craig Harman