If you choose to submit your self-assessment online then the deadline is midnight on the 31st of January. Should you choose to submit your self-assessment in paper form then the deadline is the 31st October.
These deadlines are set in stone but what happens if you are late? The first thing to realise is that you will be given an automatic fine from HMRC and the longer you leave submission, the bigger the fine will be.
Late Submission – What are the Fines?
You will be given an automatic fine of £100 if you miss the deadline with additional charges being added the longer you take to file your self-assessment. If you do not file your self-assessment within three months of the deadline, you will be fined £10 per day for the following 90 days. Therefore, the penalty will rise by £900, making it a total of £1,000.
If you fail to submit within six or twelve months then further penalties will be added, based on the amount of tax that you are required to pay. Along with this, there is interest added to the unpaid tax.
Late Payment Fines
While there is a penalty for missing the submission deadline, you can also face fines should you miss the deadline for making payment. Therefore, you could face the following additional fines:
- 30 days late – a penalty of 5% of your tax bill will be required
- 6 months late – you’ll pay an additional 5% on the amount above
- 12 months late – you’ll pay an additional 5% on the amount above
Payments on Account – Don’t Forget
Self-assessment income tax and class 4 national insurance contributions are spread out through payments on account. If you have a tax bill that is more than £1,000 then you will need to make a payment on account for the next year. This is essentially a payment in advance against your tax bill next year. It is based on the belief that your earnings will remain the same or might increase when compared to the previous year.
The other reason for the advance payment is to help you avoid paying one large tax bill. The deadline for making the first payment on account is the 31st July and there are penalties associated with missing the deadline.
What Happens if You Don’t Need to Submit a Tax Return?
Many people believe that they don’t need to make a submission because they don’t have to pay any tax. However, this is not the case because HMRC still requires submission for anyone who is registered.
Can You Avoid Penalties?
There are instances where HMRC will waive penalties should you have a satisfactory excuse although they take a strong stance on what is considered a strong reason.
This decision is down to their discretion but if you have been unwell, have suffered a loss or have had IT problems, then the fine might be excused.
However, it is important to remember that your self-assessment has to be filed on time. If you are someone who struggles with time and form filling, then it can help to use an accountant to take care of it all for you.