Nearly 1 million taxpayers missed the self-assessment deadline - what are the penalties?

A record breaking 11.1 million returns were received by the 31st January, however, there were still 958,296 taxpayers that missed the deadline – a shocking 8.18%. Those who failed to submit their returns on time will now be hit with increasing penalties.

2019 Self-Assessment facts and figures

· The number filing online soared to 10.4 million

· 702,171 taxpayers filed their returns on 31st January

· 56,969 returns were received between 4 – 4:59pm on 31st January

· 362,924 unsolicited returns/late registrations (3.26%)

· A total of 11.7 million tax returns were due

Penalties for late tax returns

1 day

£100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time

3 months

After 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day may be charged, up to a maximum of £900

6 months

After 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater

12 months

Another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater

There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months.

I’ve missed the deadline, what should I do?

File a complete self-assessment tax return for the 2018/19 tax year. You'll need to do this online, as the deadline for filing a paper return was 31 October 2019 and paper returns are no longer being accepted.

Pay your tax bill. You'll need to pay any tax you owe for 2018/19, plus in many cases a payment towards what you'll owe for 2019/20.

Can I appeal the fines and penalties?

If you have a reasonable excuse for why you couldn't file your return or pay your tax online, you can appeal your penalties with HMRC.

This is usually something unexpected or outside your control, for example:

  • Your partner / close relative died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline

  • An unexpected stay in hospital prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs

  • You had a serious or life-threatening illness

  • Your computer or software failed just before or while you were filing your return

  • Issues with HMRC online services

  • A fire, flood or theft prevented you from completing your tax return

HMRC says it will be lenient with those who have genuine excuses for not filing their tax returns, though you may need to provide evidence.

You can appeal online or by post using form SA370. Ensure you have either filed your return or explained that you don’t need to send one before appealing.

If you can't afford to pay the tax you owe, contact HMRC as soon as possible. You may be able to come to an arrangement to spread out your payments and avoid further penalties.

Ensure you’re prepared for your 2020 self-assessment return. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help please give us a call on 0800 690 6355.