Self-assessment paper return deadline looms this month

4th October 2013

Households across the UK have less than four weeks left to register for self-assessment with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in order to avoid a late-filing penalty.
 
If you wish to send a paper tax return for the 2012-13 tax year (ending 5th April 2013) it must reach HMRC by midnight on 31st October 2013.
 
There are very few exceptions; an example may be a later deadline if HMRC send you the letter, informing you to complete a tax return, after 31st July 2013. In this case the letter will let you know the deadline, which is usually three months from the date of the letter.
 
Similarly, if you are sending a self-assessment return for a registered pension scheme or non-resident company, you can only send online returns so the deadline isn’t until 31st January 2014.
 
Small businesses are increasingly encouraged to prepare and file their tax return well in advance of the 31st October deadline to ensure information is as accurate as possible. HMRC is becoming increasingly unforgiving when it comes to careless errors, with some taxpayers stung with fines of up to 30 per cent of the tax due for such mistakes.
 
Those who are ill-prepared for the October deadline, all is not list. Taxpayers still have the option of filing their self-assessment returns online; in which case the deadline is extended to 31st January 2014. Registering to file online tax returns does take some time though, so be sure not to leave it until the last minute.
 
The self-assessment paper return deadline is not the only tax-related milestone in October. This weekend marks the first deadline for better-off families to inform HMRC about how they want their tax affairs to be dealt with.
 
They can opt out of receiving child benefit or register for self-assessment so HMRC can claw money back.

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