Have you missed the 31st October deadline for your paper based tax return?
If so, don’t panic. Whilst 31st October may be the deadline for sending in your paper based tax return, you still have until 31st January to submit a return through the HMRC website.
Our guide explains the online tax return deadlines and the penalties for failing to file your return on time.
Online tax return deadline – 31st January
If you plan to file your tax return online, it must reach HMRC by midnight on 31 January.
You are only allowed to submit your return later than this date if you received the notice to file your tax return after 31 October. In this case you will have three months from the date you receive the notice to send your return online.
If you submit your tax return online, you will receive an on screen acknowledgement that your return has been received.
Penalties if you miss the 31 January deadline
If HMRC receives your tax return after the 31st January deadline, you will be charged an automatic £100 penalty. If it is a ‘partnership’ tax return, each partner will face a £100 penalty.
However, if you have a reasonable excuse for not submitting your tax return on time, you may not have to pay the penalty. Reasonable excuses typically include things like:
- Vital documents being lost in a fire or flood
- The death of your partner shortly before the filing deadline
- A life-threatening illness that prevents you sending in your tax return
Deadlines for paying your tax
If you have a tax bill, you must pay any outstanding tax by 31st January of the year immediately following the tax year where the liability became due. For example, for the tax year 2009/10 (ending on 5 April 2010) you must pay any tax due by 31 January 2011.
The payment due will include one or both of:
- A ‘balancing payment’ – the amount of tax for the previous tax year that you owe
- A ‘payment on account’ – an advance tax payment for the current tax year
When you file your tax return online, you will normally receive a statement that shows the amount of tax that you are due to pay. In the event that you do not receive this before the 31st January deadline, you will have to work out the tax that you owe yourself. This is another benefit of submitting your tax return online as you can register for the internet based ‘self assessment service’ through which your tax liability will be calculated for you.