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HMRC are to issue stricter tax penalties to those who fail to file their tax return on time . . .

Approximately 10 million Britons are required to submit a Self-Assessment Tax Return to HMRC each year.

It has recently been announced that HM Revenue and Customs could be imposing stricter Tax Penalties on those who submit their tax return past the deadline.

Self-assessment tax returns are required to be filed by paper on or before the 31 October, and the 31 January for online tax returns.

If you have forgotten to file a self-assessment tax return, irrespective of whether you are expecting a tax bill or not, you could be hit with a fine of up to £1,600.

Are you unsure whether you are required to submit a self-assessment tax return to HMRC?

If you are a company director, have multiple sources of income, or are self-employed, then you should be submitting an annual self-assessment tax return.

Previous fines for filing a tax return late totalled £100.

Tax penalties under HMRC’s stricter regime will be as follows:

£100 initial tax penalty for filing a late tax return

After 3 months an additional fine will total £10 per day – up to a maximum tax penalty of £900

After 6 months an additional tax penalty of £300 or 5% of tax owed (based on which is higher)

After 12 months a further tax penalty of £300 or 5% of taxed owed (whichever is higher), or a tax penalty of 100% of tax owed.

So, if you failed to submit your self-assessment tax return for 12 months, you could be faced with a tax penalty from HMRC of at least £1,600.

Also, the Revenue is changing the way they review late tax returns from UK taxpayers who owe no money to HMRC.

Previously a tax penalty issued under such circumstances would of been be scrapped.

Under stricter guidelines, whether the taxpayer has already paid their tax bill, or has no extra tax to pay, if a self-assessment tax return is filed late they will still be imposed with a tax penalty from HMRC.

Kevin Kinsella Jnr, of KinsellaTax, said:

“HMRC’s stricter tax penalties for failing to submit a tax return 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.

“For this stricter regime to work effectively and avoid wrongly issued tax penalty notices being sent out, HMRC must make sure that stricter tax penalties for filing late tax returns – and the criteria for being required to submit a self-assessment tax return – are publicly announced and made available to all UK tax payers.

“HMRC was recently criticised by QC, Geraint Jones, at HMD Response Limited’s Tax Tribunal, as acting more like a debt collecting agency than a responsible ‘organ of the state’.

“They must be careful with the stricter penalty regime that this criticism doesn’t stick.”

Are your Income Tax Returns under self assessment enquiryby HMRC?

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