Will I get a fine for filing my tax return late?

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Very simply, yes. There are financial penalties for filing your self assessment tax return late and for late payment of any tax due.

One Month Late

If you fail to submit your self assessment tax return to HMRC by 31 January each year you will receive an automatic late filing penalty of £100 for missing the deadline. Most taxpayers are aware of this but many do not realise that the penalties keep coming! On top of the £100 late filing penalty, there is a 5% interest surcharge on any tax due from that tax return which hasn’t been paid within 30 days (by the end of February).

Three Months Late

If you you have still not filed your tax return within three months (by 30 April) daily penalties start to kick in for late filing from 1 May at £10 per day for up to 90 days (up to 31 July), so that’s a maximum of £900.

Six Months Late

If your tax return is still outstanding by the end of July, you’ll face a 3% interest surcharge of any tax due or £300, whichever is the largest amount, simply because your tax return hasn’t been filed. On top of this, if the tax due remains outstanding then there is a 5% surcharge on the amount of tax outstanding.

Ouch!

Failing to file your tax return is very costly with penalties of £1,600 or more over the first 12 months from the filing date!

Other considerations

If you’re claiming tax credits, you will need the figures from your tax return in order to complete the annual renewal by 31 July. If you don’t complete the renewal process HMRC may stop your payments.

It’s not just about the money. Even if you pay HMRC a lump sum to cover your tax bill, if your tax return is still outstanding then the financial penalties still continue for late filing.

Can I appeal?

Yes, if you have a “reasonable excuse” but HMRC have a very narrow definition of what a reasonable excuse is.

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