HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have announced that around 3 million UK taxpayers are yet to file their self-assessment tax returns despite the deadline being less than a fortnight away…

Anyone who missed the 31 October deadline for submitting a paper tax return has until 31 January to fill in and submit their self-assessment tax return online. Tuesday 31 January is also the final day for any outstanding tax from 2010/2011 to be paid to HMRC.

If you fail to submit your self-assessment tax return online by the 31 January deadline, even if you do not owe any tax to HM Revenue and Customs, you will automatically be issued with an £100 HMRC tax penalty.

Additional fines will then be added for those who delay the submission of their self-assessment tax return even longer:

From 1 May you will be charged £10 per day up to the maximum amount of £900
If you still have not submitted your self-assessment tax return to HMRC by 31 July you will be faced with additional tax penalty of £300 or 5% of tax owed (which ever amount is higher) and;
If you fail to submit your tax return for 12 months you will receive a further tax penalty of £300 or 5% or be faced with a tax penalty of 100% of tax owed.
Therefore, if you fail to submit your self-assessment tax return within 12 months of the 31 January deadline you could find yourself with an HMRC tax penalty of at least £1,600.

Click here to see how the new penalty regime will work

A spokesman for HMRC said 10% of taxpayers usually miss the self-assessment tax return deadline, creating £10m for Her Majesty’s Revenue from all £100 initial tax penalties issued.

So far 1.8m paper tax returns and 4.5m online self-assessment tax returns have been submitted to HMRC, the spokesman added.

It is thought that approximately 10 million Britons are required to submit a self-assessment tax return each year.

If you are submitting your tax return online for the first time then you only have until Saturday 21 of January to register for HMRC’s online self-assessment tax return filing, in order to receive an account activation code and complete your self-assessment tax return before the 31 January deadline.

You can register for this service on HMRC’s website.

Kevin Kinsella Jnr, of KinsellaTax, said:

“HMRC’s new regime for failing to submit self-assessment tax returns on time could see UK taxpayers who believe that all tax has been paid, or that they are not required to submit a self-assessment tax return to HMRC, faced with unexpected fines.

“HMRC has previously been criticised by QC Geraint Jones, during HMD Response Limited’s Tax Tribunal, as acting more like a debt collecting agency than a responsible ‘organ of the state’. HMRC must be careful with their stricter penalty system that this criticism doesn’t stick.

“However, if the proposed strikes by HMRC staff continues then there will be delays and as the fines are computer based then I foresee appeals becoming the norm.”

Are your self-assessment tax returns under tax enquiry by HMRC?

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