Late tax returns and penalties

Late tax returns and penalties for mistakes

Letters lying on a doormat
If you miss the deadline for filing your tax return or paying your bill, you could face harsh penalties

Late tax return penalties

If you miss the final deadline to file your tax return HMRC will charge you £100. The following fines are levied for subsequent missed deadlines:

  • Three months late – A fine of £10 for each following day up to a 90 day maximum of £900. This is in addition to the fixed penalty above, so the overall fine could be £1,000.
  • Six months late – A fine of either £300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher, will apply on top of the penalties above.
  • 12 months late – Another £300 fine or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher, will be added to your bill on top of the penalties above. In serious cases you may be asked to pay up to 100% of the tax due instead, as  well as any tax you owe, doubling your payment.

If you miss the 31 October  deadline for paper returns, you can still register to file your return online, giving you until the following 31 January 2020 to get it in. Beware, however, if you submit a paper return after 31 October and incur the £100 fine, submitting an online return as well will not cancel the penalty. You can only file one tax return per year.

If you you need expert help with your tax returns, KWA Tax Returns Online has a qualified team who can help with your queries. Email us or call 020 3287 5532 and speak to one of our experts.

Late tax payment penalties

The deadline for paying tax for the 2018-19 tax year is 31 January 2020. If you miss this deadline you’ll be charged interest from the date the payment was due. The interest rate varies – you can check the current rate payable on HMRC’s website.

If any of the tax bill remains unpaid by 28 February 2020, you’ll be charged a 5% surcharge. An additional 5% is imposed on any of the tax bill which is unpaid by 31 July 2020.

Incorrect tax return penalties

There is a system of penalties for mistakes on your tax return, depending on whether HMRC thinks you have been careless or have tried to mislead them.

Penalties are based on the amount of tax you owe, and are payable in addition to the tax owed.

  • If you have taken reasonable care to fill in your return correctly, you’ll have no penalty to pay.
  • If you have been careless, the penalty will be between 0% and 30% of the extra tax owing.
  • If you have deliberately underestimated your tax, the penalty is between 20% and 70%.
  • If you have deliberately underestimated your tax and attempted to conceal the fact, the penalty will be between 30% and 100%.

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