HMRC Tax Returns Must Now be Filed Online

Business owners and self-employed workers who didn’t send in their paper self-assessment tax returns by the 31 October deadline must now send them online or face a penalty, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has warned.

Under the new penalty system, businesses which file their paper self-assessment tax return after the deadline will now face an automatic £100 fixed fine, even if no tax is due.

After three months, outstanding tax returns will incur fines of £10 a day and for delays of more than six months, a further fine of £300 or 5 per cent of the total tax owed will be issued, whichever is the greater.

Online tax returns must reach HMRC by 31 January 2012.

“These new penalties, which increase over time, will encourage people to submit returns as soon as possible.”

said an HMRC spokesperson.

“We are forced to spend a lot of time chasing up late returns and late payment, and the new system aims to reduce that.”

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