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Self-assessment awareness growing among taxpayers

New research by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) suggests that the tax department’s campaign for 2015/16 self-assessment tax returns is having the desired effect with overall taxpayer awareness reaching its highest levels yet.

Unprompted awareness of HMRC’s self-assessment campaign has reached 52% for individuals and 40% for small businesses.

In addition, there has been impressive growth in the overall awareness of HMRC’s campaign amongst individuals, up from 63% in 2014/15 to 68% in 2015/16.

As a consequence of the campaign, 70% of small businesses and individuals are well aware of the 31st January deadline for online self-assessment tax returns and the penalties that can be received from HMRC for failing to submit these ahead of the deadline.

Those who miss the 31st January deadline for self-assessment will receive an immediate £100 late filing penalty that’s applicable even in the event you don’t have a penny owed in tax or, worse still, you have already paid the tax you owe.

If you submit your 2015/16 tax return more than three months’ late you will be subjected to the following late filing penalties:

  • More than 3 months late
    Taxpayers receive additional fines of £10 for each following day it is late, up to a 90-day maximum of £900. This is liable in addition to the initial £100 late filing penalty.

  • More than 6 months late
    Taxpayers will receive an immediate fine of £300 or 5% of the tax due – whichever is greater. This is liable in addition to the previous penalties.

  • More than 12 months late
    Taxpayers will be hit with another £300 fine or 5% of the tax due – whichever is greater. This is liable in addition to the previous penalties.

Taxpayers who fail to submit their 2015/16 tax return online for more than a year could be hit with penalties of at least £1,600 – regardless of whether they’ve already paid the tax they owe.

If you’re self-employed or a small business owner, your local TaxAssist Accountant can work with you to accurately calculate your tax liabilities, prepare and submit your tax return to HMRC with minimal hassle; allowing you to concentrate firmly on the running of your business.

If you’d like minimise your risk of an HMRC investigation into your tax affairs, talk to your local TaxAssist Accountant today on 0800 0523 555 or drop us a line using our online enquiry form.

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