2018/2019 tax return – deadline is looming

As we hurtle towards the 31st January 2020 filing deadline for 2018-19 self-assessment tax returns, a gentle reminder to please send your personal tax return information to your tax adviser as soon as possible, if you haven’t already done so.

Last year 93% of taxpayers filed their tax returns by the 31st January deadline. Out of  those 7% who failed to submit their return on time, some individuals had very imaginative excuses for not filing on time. HMRC have published the top five most unbelievable excuses they received for late filing of 2017-18 tax returns.

Unsurprisingly all of the following excuses were rejected by HMRC as not being a reasonable excuse:

  1. My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me
  2. I’m too short to reach the post box
  3. I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn
  4. Our junior member of staff registered our client in Self Assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses
  5. My boiler had broken, and my fingers were too cold to type

And if avoiding the embarrassment of having your excuse listed on HMRC’s website is not a good enough incentive to file on time, maybe the late filing penalties will be. The penalties for late filing are as follows:

  • An initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time
  • After 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900
  • After 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater
  • After 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater

HMRC also charge additional penalties for the late payment of tax, with the penalties being 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months.

So no excuses – make sure that you submit your tax return on time!

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