Avoid Fines for Late Self-assessment

  • The January 31st tax deadline for online self-assessment forms is only weeks away
  • Taxpayers could be fined £24 million more than they were last year for late returns and wrongly filled in forms
  • Over 1 million forms were submitted late in 2008 (14,600 more than in 2007) 

Taxpayers are set to gift the taxman an unnecessary £503 million this year in fines generated by late returns, miscalculations and surcharges on unpaid tax, according to research by Unbiased.co.uk, the professional advice website. The research also reveals this amount has increased by £24 million on estimations for last year.

Failure to get forms to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by the fast-approaching 31st January deadline will incur an initial £100 late payment charge.  If the form still hasn’t been returned by 31st July there will be a further penalty of £100.  Furthermore, if despite these penalties you still fail to return your tax forms the HMRC are able to apply a daily penalty of up to £60 a day. 

Karen Barrett, chief executive of Unbiased.co.uk comments,

“Failing to get your online self-assessment form to HMRC by 31st January, or filling it out incorrectly, will result in hefty fines which can easily be avoided through careful planning.  In the current climate where money is tighter than ever, we are urging consumers to take ‘tax action’ and ensure they fill out their forms correctly and in time of the 31st January deadline.  Those who are confused and need help with their tax return forms should seek advice from an independent financial adviser.”

Unbiased.co.uk’s research calculates that money will be wasted in the following three ways:

  • £104 million in fines for forms returned past the January 31st deadline
  • £319 million through fines for miscalculations made on tax forms
  • £80 million in surcharges for unpaid tax from previous years

In 2008, it was estimated that over 1 million self-assessment forms were received after the January 31st deadline.  Of these, the vast majority incurred a penalty of £100, and many more were subject to further surcharges. There has been an increase of approximately 14,600 on 2007, which shows that consumers are still failing to take action and reduce the amount of tax they pay.

Karen Barrett concluded,

“You may already consult an accountant for tax advice, but to ensure you’re managing your personal finances as tax efficiently as possible, an independent financial adviser can offer invaluable help.

If you’re looking for an Independent Financial Advisor then use the Find an IFA tool.

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