Small Business Tax Advice: October Deadline Looms For Paper Self-Assessment Tax Returns.

Are you self-employed, registered with HMRC and wanting to make a manual paper tax return?

Then you have a little over 3 weeks to get your return into HMRC. Failure to submit your return by 31 October will lead to a late payment fine. As accountants we would strongly urge you to submit your self-assessments at the earliest available opportunity: it may prove to be time-consuming, but in the long run it will be an effort that proves to be worthwhile. Once the self-assessment return is filed you can then return to concentrating on what you do best.

Anyone wishing to send a paper tax return for the 2012-13 tax year (ending 5th April 2013) must ensure that it reaches HMRC by midnight on 31st October 2013.

Failure to do so will prove to be costly. HMRC is becoming increasingly stringent when it comes to filing-dates. You may feel you have a good reason for late submission, but HMRC is unlikely to accept this. There are very few exceptions to the strict deadline ruling. HMRC may accept a later deadline if it sent you a letter after 31 July, 2013 informing you to complete a tax return. In that case the latter will stipulate the new deadline which is generally 3 months from the date of the letter. Similarly, if you are sending a self-assessment return for a registered pension scheme or non-resident company, you can only send online returns so the deadline isn’t until 31st January 2014.

HMRC, and accountants like Steven Glicher are increasingly encouraging small businesses to prepare and file their tax returns well in advance of the 31st October deadline to ensure information is as accurate as possible. Accuracy is important as HMRC is becoming increasingly unforgiving when it comes to careless errors, with some taxpayers hit with fines of up to 30% of the tax due for such mistakes.

However, as ever Steven Glicher would encourage business owners to remember that if they are ill-prepared for the October deadline, all is not lost. Taxpayers still have the option of filing their self-assessment returns online; in which case the deadline is extended to 31st January 2014. However, it’s important to remember that registering to file online tax returns does take some time, so make sure you don’t leave it until the last minute.

What will you be charged for filing a Self-Assessment Tax Return late?

  • An automatic fixed penalty charge of £100, irrespective of whether you have tax to pay or not, or if you’ve paid your outstanding tax on time.
  • If you file your return 3 months late, you’ll incur a penalty of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900, in addition to the fixed £100 penalty charge.
  • If you file your return 6 months late, you’ll incur a penalty of £300 or 5% of the tax due, as well as the two previously mentioned penalties.
  • If you file your return 3 months late, you’ll incur a penalty of £300 or 5% of the tax due, as well as the two previously mentioned penalties. In some instances you may be asked to pay 100% of the total tax due instead.

If you’d like any further information on self-assessment and late payment penalties, then contact Steven Glicher accountants on 0161 405 8007.

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