2016 came and went, and now we are well into 2017. However for all tax advisers around the country, there is still no doubt a huge panic and extra hours being spent in the office to make sure all client’s personal tax returns for 2015/16 are filed before the January 31st deadline.
Although it has been almost 9 months since the end of the last tax year, you would be surprised as to how many individuals leave it to the last minute. According to HMRC, during the 2016 rush, out of the 9.24 million individuals who filed electronically a total of 4.45 million were filed in January 2016 alone with 823,000 of those received on January 30th and 31st alone (that is a staggering 18% of the total returns received in January).
Not only this, but as of 1st February 2016, an approximate 870,000 returns were outstanding and therefore filed late.
Here we will run through the likely penalties you will suffer if you file your self assessment tax returns
late and also fail to make your tax liability payments on time.
Late filing of personal tax returns
For the 2015/16 tax year (covering 6 April 2015 to 5 April 2016), the statutory filing deadlines are 31st October 2016 for any paper returns, and the fast approaching 31st January 2017 for electronically submitted returns. Given there is a total of 9 months for individuals to prepare and file their returns electronically, you would have thought that this was more than sufficient to avoid a late filing.
However, as shown by last year’s statistics, a total of 870,000 returns were filed late. There are consequences of course, as follows:
- There is an immediate £100 late filing penalty if the 31st January 2017 deadline is missed.
- If the return is still outstanding 3 months after the deadline, then a £10 daily penalty will apply.
- If the return is still outstanding 6 months after the deadline, then the higher of a £300 flat rate or 5% of the tax due at that date will be payable.
- If the return is still outstanding 12 months after the deadline, then the higher of a £300 flat rate or 5% of the tax due at that date will be payable.
Late payment of personal tax returns
There is a separate penalty regime for the late payment of your personal tax liabilities.
- Payment is 30 days late – then a 5% of the tax due is levied.
- Payment is 6 months late – then a further 5% of the tax outstanding at that date is levied.
- Payment is 12 months late – then a further 5% of the tax outstanding at that date is levied.
As you can see, it is therefore highly recommended that you deal with your personal tax returns as soon as possible, and if your accountant / tax adviser has been chasing you for the relevant information, provide that information to them as soon as possible. The sooner your returns can be prepared, then the likelihood of your returns being filed late is drastically reduced.
If you need assistance with your tax returns or you are worried that you may miss the 31st January 2017 filing deadline, then contact one of our dedicated personal tax specialists who would be more than happy to assist you on 020 8429 9245 or [email protected]