Self assessment tax return: What happens if I miss the deadline, can I be fined?

TAX payers face a hefty fine if they don’t submit their self-assessment returns on time.Anyone who needs to fill in a self-assessment form usually gets hit with a fine of £100 if they miss the deadline – but it also goes up the longer you leave it.
1Self-employed Brits have been reminded to file their taxes or face hefty finesCredit: Alamy
This year, the taxman extended the hard deadline on filing tax returns from January 31 to February 28.
That meant Brits had a little longer to file the important payments.
But that new deadline has now arrived, so if you want to avoid forking out you’ll need to be quick.
Late filing fees will begin to apply as of tomorrow, March 1.
If you find yourself in that position, we explain the charges you might face.
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What are the late filing fines?
HMRC charges anyone who files their self-assessment tax return late from the first day after the deadline.
There’s an immediate £100 penalty fee.
You’ll then be charged an additional £10 charge for each day the return isn’t filed after that.
The daily charges are capped at 90 days, so the maximum penalty is £900 – plus the £100 initial fine, a total of £1,000.
However, if you’re six months late, there’s a further fine of £300 or 5% of the money you owe – whichever is higher.
That’s on top of the daily £10 charges built up so far.
And after 12 months, another £300 or 5% fine is added.
If you have deliberately not filed your tax return, you could be hit with a fine of up to 100% of the tax due.
What’s different this year?
Due to the pandemic, HMRC is waiving all late payment fees – as long as you file your tax return by February 28.
Plus, anyone owing cash on January 31, had the 5% late payment fee waived, so long as the payment is complete by today.
But if you are unable to pay your tax owed or fear your tax bill may be too high, you have until April 1, 2022 to make a time to pay arrangement.
That’s an agreement with the taxman to pay in instalments, depending on your income and outgoings through rent, shopping and more.
HMRC will estimate what you can afford to pay and charge you based on that.
According to HMRC: “You’ll usually be asked to pay around half of what you have left over each month towards the tax you owe.”
You can get the process going via the government website.
Interest fees will apply during a time to pay arrangement – but they’re likely to be much lower than if you simply don’t pay on time.
HMRC raised its late payment interest rate to 3% just last week.
The change affects millions who could now be having to fork out more for the missed payments.
This will apply from the date you should’ve paid off your tax bill.
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