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Tardiness just isn’t an excuse

Author: Henry Ejdelbaum

Tags: hmrc, self-assessment, Tax

Despite attempts by accounting bodies and business leaders HMRC have not answered calls to delay the deadline date for Tax Returns because they want to encourage as many people as possible to get their returns in by 31 January. HMRC have promised to “keep the situation under review” .

So, with the 31st January deadline looming, if you haven’t already done so, you must submit a return if, during the year to 5 April 2020:

  • you were self employed as a ‘sole trader’ and earned more than £1000 (before tax relief deductions);
  • you were a partner in a business partnership;
  • your income from renting out property was more than £2,500 (you will need to contact HMRC if it was between £1,000 and £2,500);
  • your income from savings, investments and dividends was £10,000 or more;
  • you had foreign income;
  • you earned more than £2,500 of untaxed income such as tips or commission;
  • your taxable income was £100,000 or more;
  • you made taxable capital gains;
  • you/your partner claimed Child Benefit and your income is over £50,000.

If you miss the deadline for submitting your Return or paying your bill you may receive a fine. The penalty is £100 if your tax return is up to 3 months late and you’ll have to pay more if its later, or if you pay your tax bill late. Interest is also due on late payments.

If you receive a penalty for missing the deadline, you may appeal and HMRC will accept reasonable excuses e.g.

  • A partner of close relative died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline
  • You had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs
  • You had a serious or life-threatening illness
  • A fire or flood prevented you from completing your tax return
  • Delays related to a disability
  • Service issues with HMRC online services.

Normally appeals must be made within thirty days of the penalty notice but this year that has been extended to three months.

If you have any questions on whether you need to submit a tax return, speak to your local accountant today.