If you have missed the tax return deadline, HMRC can legally pursue you and enforce penalties to recover outstanding payments. There are numerous penalties which depend on how late these outstanding payments are.
Suffice to say that it’s extremely important that your tax returns are filed and submitted on time. However, we understand that life sometimes gets in the way. This article will explain your options should you have missed a self-assessment deadline.
Self-assessment late payment penalties
If you fear that you may have missed your tax return deadline, then you’ll understandably want to know what may happen.
What if you’re late filing your tax return?
If you neglect to file your tax return on time, you will receive a £100 penalty from HMRC. This will then increase to a further charge of £10 a day (for maximum 90 days) if you are more than three months late filing the return.
If, however, you are over six months late filing your tax returns then HMRC’s charges continue and more severely so.
While this will understandably be a concern, if you are late by a few days then you the £100 penalty is all you will receive. Of course, leave it longer than three months and the fees will soon stack up. This is why you need to file your tax return as soon as possible.
What if you’re late paying your tax bill?
Understandably, if you’ve failed to pay the tax bill itself then there will be more charges incurred. Firstly, there will be an initial £50 penalty, then a 3% interest fee on the amount that you owe.
If you have missed your tax bill by more than six months, there will be another £50 charge. The consequences of missing your deadline is something we’ve written on in length before, so take a look at this article for more information.
What do I do if I’ve missed the deadline?
File your return as soon as possible. If the tax return cannot be withdrawn and you do not have a sufficient excuse for missing the deadline (which we will get to shortly) then you should file the tax return. This should be done even if you cannot afford the tax bill, because longer delays in filing will mean continued charges.
Reasonable excuses with which you may appeal penalties
The HMRC may consider appeals to their penalty system if the reason you missed the deadline is reasonable enough. You can view some of the reasonable excuses below (they can be viewed in full on the HMRC website).
- Your partner or close relative died shortly before the tax return/payment deadline, delaying timely processing.
- An unexpected stay in hospital prevented you from arranging your tax affairs.
- You had a serious or life threatening illness which delayed or prevented you from arranging your tax affairs.
- Your computer or software failed just before or while your online return was processing.
- You experienced service issues with HMRC’s online processing services.
- A fire, flood, or theft prevented you from completing your tax return.
- There were postal delays that you couldn’t have predicted.
- You couldn’t complete your return because of a disability that you have.
Unreasonable excuses that you will not be able to appeal penalties with
If you missed your tax return deadline because of any one of the below excuses, then it is very likely that HMRC will disregard your appeal.
- You relied on somebody else to process/send your return and they did not
- Your payment failed because you didn’t have enough money
- You made a mistake on your tax return
- You didn’t receive a reminder from HMRC
Organisation is key – we can help
Missing the deadlines set out by HMRC can be financially devastating to your business, whether you’re self-employed or just responsible for a business’ tax affairs. Our experienced team of tax accountants can help put your affairs in order so that you never miss a deadline again.
Call us on 0161 832 4841 – we are more than happy to talk through your options.