The deadline for submitting your 2011/12 Tax Return is fast approaching. A £100 penalty waits for those that don’t submit it in time. If you are one of those people don’t worry its not too late to do something about it. Here are a few common questions currently being asked by our clients.
Am I too late to register to file online?
The deadline for submitting paper copies was back in October. In order to avoid a penalty you have no choice now but to do it electronically. This will mean registering to file online with HMRC. It can take a week or more to receive your activation code. Don’t worry though, we file online using our own in house software rather than using HMRC’s system. This means there is no need to register online with HMRC. As long as you have your UTR we can file your return up to midnight on 31 January.
I do not know my UTR.
This is your Unique Taxpayer Reference. This will be shown on any correspondence you have received from HMRC such as the notice to complete a Tax Return or statements of account. If you can’t find it give HMRC a ring on 0845 900 0444. Have your NI number to hand. For security reasons HMRC will usually insist on sending this by post rather than giving it to you over the phone. This is therefore one of the things you need to make sure you do sooner rather than later.
I have already registered for Self Assessment with HMRC but have not yet received my UTR?
Don’t worry HMRC will give you 3 months from the date they notify you to complete a tax return to get it submitted to them. This is the case even if that takes you past the 31 January deadline.
I have not yet registered for Self Assessment.
Although you should have registered by 5 October there may still be some scope for avoiding the penalty. You still get the 3 months to complete the return from the date of the notification to complete a tax return. This could avoid the late filing penalty. There should however still be a penalty for late notification of the need to self assess. In our experience however HMRC rarely follow through with this, especially if an unprompted disclosure.
It is never too late and is always preferable to come forward rather than burying your head in the sand. HMRC are always more lenient to those that do and the penalty regime reflects that.
I don’t have all the information I need can I submit provisional (estimated) figures?
The short answer is yes. Provisional figures are those that you don’t have to hand right now but can obtain in the future. Such as missing bank statements and duplicates have been requested but wont arrive before the deadline. This allows you to submit the return now with estimates, avoid a penalty and submit an amended tax return at a later date when you have obtained the correct information.
How do I pay my liability?
There is plenty of guidance on HMRC’s website regarding this. The easiest method is using online banking. With most providers you don’t even need to know HMRC bank details you can just select HMRC Self Assesment from a drop down list of payment beneficiaries. Make sure you select Self Assessment though as people pay HMRC for many different taxes such as VAT and Corporation Tax.
The alternatives are to pay online using a debit or credit card (charges may apply though).
I have been told that if I don’t owe any tax HMRC cant penalise me.
This used to be the case. HMRC could not issue a penalty for more than the tax liability. Therefore if you only owed £20 in tax then the penalty would only be £20. If you owed no tax then there would be no penalty. This is no longer the case. The penalty will still stand even if there is no tax liability.
How long do I have to submit my return before the penalty increases?
If the return is more than 3 months late then penalties will start to accrue at £10 per day up to a maximum of £900 on top of the £100 penalty already incurred. If more than 6 months late a further penalty of 5% of the tax due will be applied (minimum of £300).
In serious cases where the return is over 12 months late the penalty can be up to 100% of the tax due as well as those penalties listed above. If you still have last years return to submit, now is the time to do it.
What if I make a mistake or omit some information?
You have 12 months to amend your tax return. So for the 2011/12 Tax Return you have up to 31 January 2014. This means that the deadline for amending your 2010/11 Tax Return is 31 January 2013 so you only have a small window of opportunity left.
If you have a question that is not listed above, give our tax experts a call now on 0151 355 5777.