Almost three quarters of a million people will receive automatic fines at the end of the month for failing to submit their tax returns in time.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) specified that self-assessment forms, filled out by the self-employed and those with more than one source of income, should be submitted by the end of January – while over 10 million were completed in time, the remaining 710,000 will be subject to a late payment fine.
The initial penalty fine starts at £100, rising further if the forms are not completed and tax is left unpaid. Paper returns were originally due for submission by 31 October, with online application receiving the later deadline.
The HMRC’s busiest date for submission was 31 January, when they received a massive 569,847 returns – amazingly 21,027 people left it until the final hour of the deadline day to submit their forms.
While some mitigating circumstances will be forgiven, the HMRC isn’t one to accept poor excuses, fining anyone submitting a late payment through their automated process.
If forms fail to be submitted for three months, additional fines of £10 a day apply, up to a maximum of £900; after six months and 12 months there are a further two potential penalties, both being either 5 per cent of the tax due, or £300, whichever is the greater amount.
This year, the self-assessment process also affected thousands of parents who claim child benefit. Those families where one parent has a taxable income of more than £50,000, but continued to claim the benefit after January 2013, have to pay back some of the amount in a tax charge; if one parent has a taxable income of more than £60,000 they must to pay it all back.
HMRC says that around 100,000 high-earning parents receiving child benefit failed to register with them, although they would be given further time to do so; fines would be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
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