Tax & admin · 24 January 2018

HMRC issues penalties warning for submitting late tax returns

An automatic £100 fine is issued as soon as the deadline passes

A third of self-assessment tax payers are yet to submit their yearly return to HMRC, as the tax office hands a last-minute warning ahead of the 31 January deadline.

Around eight million people have already filed self-assessment tax returns for the 2016/17 tax year, according to HMRC.

With just seven days to for the remaining three million self-employed and sole traders to submit their returns, HMRC has reminded tax payers that the hard deadline for paying any tax owed is 31 January and reiterated that penalties for late filings escalate over time.

Register for and file your self-assessment tax return online with HMRC

Anybody missing the deadline will automatically receive a £100 fine. Crucially, even if no tax is owed, failure to submit a tax return will still result in a penalty.

Penalties for late tax returns

  • A fixed £100 fine for all submissions after deadline
  • After three months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum £900
  • After six months, a further penalty of five per cent of the tax due, or £300 (whichever is greater)
  • After 12 months, another five per cent or £300 charge (whichever is greater)
  • Additional penalties for paying late of five per cent of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six months and 12 months



Five last-minute tax tips to beat the self-assessment deadline

Here are five top tips for completing your self-assessment in the final or days before the deadline passes.


Angela MacDonald, director general of customer services at HMRC, said: “The seven-day countdown to 31 January has now begun. Put a stop to that niggling feeling and do your self-assessment now. Our helpful online services offer support and advice, so you can complete your tax return quicker than you think.”

Don’t forget to budget for payments on account towards next year’s tax bill

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Simon Caldwell is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and has previously worked as a content editor in local government and the ecommerce industry.


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