If you want to submit a paper based tax return then the 2011 deadline is approaching fast. And, with new penalties introduced by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in April 2011, it’s even more important that you submit your tax return on time.
Our guide looks at the fast approaching 2011 tax return deadline.
Completing a tax return
If you need to complete a tax return – perhaps you are self employed or you have various sources of income – then HMRC should have contacted you earlier this year. They will also have sent a letter to you detailing when your tax return had to be completed by.
If you have previously sent your return on paper, you’ll receive a paper tax return.
If you haven’t received a return and think you should have, it’s vital that you contact HMRC as soon as possible. Similarly, if you have been asked to complete a tax return and you don’t think you need to, you should also get in touch with them.
2011 tax return deadlines
If you want to send a paper based tax return then it must be received at HMRC by midnight on 31 October 2011.
However, if the letter that your received telling you to send a tax return arrived after 31st July 2011 then you will have three months from the date that you received that letter.
Missing the paper based tax return deadline
If you miss the deadline for sending in your paper based tax return, don’t panic. The deadline for submitting a tax return online is 31st January 2012 and so you still have three months in which to send in your tax return.
However, if you miss the 31st October deadline then you will have no choice but to submit your tax return electronically.
Penalties if you miss the tax return deadline
If you miss the tax return deadline, you may have to pay a penalty. It is therefore important to send your tax return to HMRC as soon as you can.
If your tax return is even a day late you will face a fixed penalty of £100. If it is up to three months late then you’ll be charged £10 for every day that it is late up to a maximum of £900. This is in addition to the initial £100 fixed penalty.
If your tax return is up to six months late then you can expect to pay a penalty of £300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher in addition to the penalties above.
Getting your return in on time
If you are planning to submit a paper based tax return then it is vital that you complete the form and send it to HMRC in the next couple of weeks. 31st October 2011 is a Monday and so you are likely to have to post your tax return sometime in the previous week to ensure that it reaches HMRC on time.