Time running out for tax forms

HM Revenue and Customs logo. Library image
HM Revenue and Customs logo. Library image

Time is running out for people who file paper tax returns and want to avoid a £100 penalty.

The deadline is just a few days away, with Self Assessment returns having to be in the hands of HM Revenue and Customs by Monday.

Late filing will prove costly, with the taxpayer facing an initial penalty of £100, but this could rocket with further delays.

Alternatively, people who miss the deadline and do not send in a paper return can avoid a penalty by filing online, which has the later deadline of January 31.

Around 1.5 million people in Kent, Medway and South East are expected to file a Self Assessment return this year. There are some 90,000 with a Medway postcode, 75,000 with a Canterbury postcode and 150,000 with a TN (Tunbridge Wells) postcode.

A new tougher regime means that taxpayers who miss the deadline will be hit by a £100 penalty, even if there is no tax to pay or the tax due is paid on time.

That's not the end of it for people who are really late. They will be stung by even higher penalties if their return is more than three months late, when it will go up by £10 a day, up to a maximum of £900.

After six months, there is a further penalty of 5% of the tax due, or £300, whichever is greater; and after 12 months, another 5% or £300, whichever is greater. In serious cases, the penalty after 12 months can be up to 100% of the tax due.

More details at www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/deadline-news.htm or telephone Self Assessment helpline on 0845 9000 444.Taxpayers can register for online filing at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/online/.

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