16:48 PM, 6th January 2012, About 12 years ago 6
The New Year countdown for filing tax returns has started – with a timely reminder from HM Revenue and Customs not to be late.
Individuals and partnerships must submit their tax return for the year ending April 5, 2011, on or before January 31 – and pay any tax due.
All filings must be electronic tax returns via HMRC’s online gateway.
Tax payments may also include the first advance payment on next year’s tax, with the second installment due on July 31.
Any taxpayers filing after midnight on January 31 face an automatic £100 fine. Unlike previous years, even if no tax is due or the amount is less than the fine, the penalty for late filing remains £100.
Only exceptional circumstances preventing filing will be accepted – these include a close family death, losing financial records in a fire or flood or similar excuses.
First-time filers need to register on the HMRC website – and must do so in time for HMRC to send a user ID and activation code by post. These can take at least seven working days to process.
“Missing the January deadline will mean that will face penalties and we don’t want them to – we want the tax returns, not the penalties. We want people to file online and on-time, and avoid facing a completely avoidable penalty,” said an HMRC spokesman.
Taxpayers who have incomplete records should consider filing a tax return by January 31 and paying the tax they believe is due, even if the finer details still need completing.
Tax rules say the return can be amended at any time until January 31, 2013, so revised figures can be submitted.
Paying the estimated tax stops surcharges and interest. If too much tax is paid, HMRC will refund the overpayment with interest, while paying in the estimated amount reduces charges and interest in the event of an underpayment.