In the Finance Act 2007, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) introduced changes to the filing deadlines for self assessment tax returns. Their aim was to encourage taxpayers to file tax returns electronically, rather than completing and filing paper forms. The online filing deadline for the 2009 returns is 31st January 2010, but if you are still wishing to file your tax return on paper, then the latest you can file your 2009 return is 31st October 2009.
HMRC have advised that any return which is delivered by hand and found in their letterbox on Monday 2nd November will be treated as being filed on time and will not receive a late filing penalty. Such returns will also not be subject to an extension to the HMRC enquiry window.
Returns delivered by hand on 2nd November or found in the letterbox on Tuesday 3rd November will also not receive a late filing penalty, however the enquiry window for HMRC raising queries on the return will be extended to 31st January 2011.
Unfortunately, negligence is not an acceptable excuse to reduce a late filing penalty. HMRC only accept a limited number of excuses such as bereavement or serious illness for not submitting your return on time, so if you are late you will be liable to a penalty.
Bearing in mind that the deadline for filing your return online is 31st January 2010, we recommend you speak with your local TaxAssist Accountant. In addition to taking advantage of the extra 3 months available to file your return online, they will also calculate your tax liability and advise you of any tax saving opportunities applicable to your individual circumstances.
By Jo Nockels
Disclaimer: The information provided is based on current guidance (at date of publication) from HMRC and may be subject to change. Any advice shared here is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this information, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.