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South West England taxpayers 'most punctual' with tax return deadlines

Taxpayers in the South West of England are the most punctual in the UK, according to new figures released today by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Just six per cent of their one-million tax returns arrive late from the South West of England, while other English regions, as well as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, all registered seven per cent of late Self-Assessment tax returns – the UK national average.
At the other end of the spectrum, one-in-nine (11 per cent) of the 560,000 people in Inner London who sent in a tax return last year failed to do so by the relevant deadline - 31st October for paper returns and 31st January for online submissions.
The tardiest taxpayers outside of the capital were in the North West of England, with eight per cent of their 890,000 returns failing to meet the deadlines.
Ruth Owen, director general of personal tax at HMRC, said: "Whether you’re from London, Livingston, Lisburn or Llandudno, the consequences of missing the tax return deadline are the same – an automatic £100 late-filing penalty.
"The longer you delay, the more you have to pay. So if you still have to send us your tax return, take action now."
Those with an outstanding 2012-13 Self-Assessment tax return must file it online, and pay any outstanding tax, by 31st January 2014.
As many as 10.9 million Self-Assessment tax returns will be filed for the 2012-13 tax year, and a percentage of these will arrive late. The penalties for Self-Assessment returns are:

  • An initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time.

  • After three months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900.

  • After six months, a further penalty of five per cent of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater.

  • After 12 months, another five per cent or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

There are additional penalties for paying late of five per cent of the tax unpaid at: 30 days, six months and 12 months.

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