The self-assessment deadline you can't afford to miss

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is pretty good at reminding taxpayers that the January 31st deadline for self-assessment is approaching, yet nearly 750,000 people missed last year's time limit.  

Nearly 10.7 million taxpayers submitted their self-assessment return before the deadline, HMRC said, with just over 30,000 people filing online in the final hour before the midnight deadline.

At Perrys we understand what a complex procedure it can be to gather together all the information required to submit your tax form, and we're here to help. We can work with you throughout the year to ensure that all paperwork is completed in time, but we're happy to guide you through the process even when time is an issue.

Do I need to file a return?

You're legally obligated to fill in a self-assessment tax form if you receive one - so if a form drops on your mat, don't ignore it! You also need to fill in a self-assessment tax return if:

  • You're self-employed, a business partner or director of a limited company.
  • You're an employee or pensioner with an annual income of £100,000 or more.
  • You have a pre-tax investment income of £10,000 or more.
  • You're a minister of religion.
  • You're a trustee or representative of someone who has died.

What happens if I miss the deadline?

If you file late, you'll face an automatic £100 fine, and the penalty will increase the longer it takes for HMRC to receive your return. If you fail to pay, the situation will only get worse as you'll be charged interest from the date the payment is due.

Following criticism of these penalties, it was announced last November that a new points system would be introduced from 2020, which aims to issue points for persistent late filers rather than an automatic fine for everyone who files late.

For the moment though, you still need to file your return on time.

What if I've got a good excuse?

HMRC may waive the penalty for a late return if you can provide what it deems to be a 'reasonable excuse'.

These include: the recent death of a partner, an unexpected stay in hospital, or a computer or software failure while you were preparing your online return. For more information on reasonable excuses see the HMRC website

Perrys accountants – expert tax advice in central London and Kent

Our tax experts can help take the stress out of completing your tax return. For help in filing your self-assessment form, or for any other accountancy advice, contact our team here.