What happens if you miss the self-assessment deadline?

This year, the self-assessment falls on January 31st, which means you need to make sure that you have all of your accounts in order before the end of Jan and have filled in your tax return online, or sent it off through the post in advance.

HMRC gives you plenty of notice when it comes to tax return deadlines, which means there are very few excuses for not delivering on time.


What happens if a tax return is late?

HMRC make their deadline dates very clear over on the HMRC website and many business publications will also draw attention to these dates. It’s a good idea to make a note of any important dates at the beginning of every year, to ensure you don’t miss a deadline and incur a hefty fine!

If you do find that you’ve missed a deadline, you will be contacted by HMRC, either via post or email, to inform you that you have missed the deadline and could be facing a fine. This fine will then be recorded on your online account and you can pay this easily through the online portal.

However, the longer you leave the fine unpaid, the more interested is added. To avoid having to pay over the odds on fines, make sure you pay this as soon as possible!



What can you do if you think you’ve been wrongly fined?

There are circumstances beyond our control that mean you may be forced to miss the deadline, or you may have been the victim of an admin error and recieved a fine for no reason. The following points are all accepted by the HMRC when you appeal a fine:


  • A close relative or domestic partner passes away
  • You didn’t receive your online activation code in time to fill in your return
  • You lost your tax records through theft, fire or flood and couldn’t replace them in time

There are other circumstances in which you can appeal, but it relies on a person by person basis, which means it is always worth ringing HMRC to explain your situation to see if there are any other solutions.


Need help completing your tax return?

If you are struggling to understand or complete your self-assessment tax return, there are a few ways you can get help in time to meet the deadline.


  • Ask your accountant to help you and gather the information needed
  • Call HMRC directly to ask them to run you through the tax return form – they can walk you through each step and tell you exactly what information to put in each box whilst you’re on the phone
  • Take a look at HMRC’s online tutorial videos and articles, which walk you through your self-assessment tax return.


Struggling to handle your own accounts and tax returns? Why not get in touch with us here at Alexander & Co? We can help you get everything in order before the deadline and ensure that you don’t pay any more than you have to! Keep on top of your accounts all year round with our bookkeeping services.


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