Warning: Will You Miss The 2012 Tax Return Deadline?

Do you want to submit your 2012 tax return by post? If so, the deadline for paper-based tax returns is getting closer. While more and more people are submitting their tax return online, millions of UK taxpayers still send a paper based tax return to HMRC.

The deadline for a paper tax return is 31st October 2012. Keep reading to find out how many people now submit their tax return online and what your options are.

How do Brits submit their tax returns?

Official figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in 2012 showed that a record 9.45 million taxpayers met the deadline for submission of their tax returns. Over 90 per cent of taxpayers filed their self assessment forms before the deadline – a rise of 4 per cent on the previous year.

And, a record number of people submitted their tax return online in 2011. The chart below shows how Brits submitted their tax returns for the 2011/12 tax year:

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “I’m delighted so many people filed their tax returns online this year. The record number proves that it’s quick, easy and secure to do.

“HMRC has always been clear that they want returns not penalties, so it is good news that over 90 per cent of all returns were submitted on time.”

Do you need to complete a tax return?

HMRC will have contacted you earlier this year if you need to complete a tax return. You will most commonly need to do so if you’re self employed or you have various sources of income.

If you haven’t received a tax return and think you should have, you should 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, get in touch with them.

If you have previously sent your tax return on paper, you’ll receive a paper tax return. However, this doesn’t mean you have to submit a paper return this year. Submitting your tax return online has various benefits – including allowing you extra time to submit your return. Keep reading to learn more.

The 2012 tax return deadlines

If you want to submit a paper based tax return, it must be received at HMRC by midnight on 31st October 2012.

The only exception to this is if you received the letter telling you to send a tax return after 31st July 2012. If this is the case you have three months from the date that you received that letter.

If you miss the deadline for sending in your paper based tax return, you can still submit your return online. The deadline for submitting your tax return online is 31st January 2013 and so you still have three months in which to submit your tax return.

Get your paper tax return done now

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 by 31st October 2012. If you miss the 31st October deadline then you will have no choice but to submit your tax return electronically.


  1. Geoff says:

    If I miss the 31 October deadline, will I be penalised for this?

    • NickP says:

      Geoff – No. If you miss the deadline for a paper tax return, you still have until 31 January 2013 to submit your tax return online. You will only be penalised if you fail to submit your return online by this date.

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