You must file your 2018/19 self-assessment tax return online by midnight on 31 January 2020 if you want to avoid a late filing penalty. so, what can you do to help ensure this deadline is met?
Help us to help you
Tax return season is a very busy time for us accountants and tax advisers. With the best will in the world, there is a limit to the number of tax returns that can be filed on 31 January. To ensure your tax return is filed on time, it is advisable to help us help you, as follows:
1. Check what date your accountant needs tax information from you in order to meet the filing deadline, and make sure that you provide the information by that date.
2. Collect together all the relevant paperwork and make sure nothing is missing. This will include your P60 and P11D, dividend vouchers, bank statements, details of trading income and expenses, details of rental income and expenses, details of sales of capital assets and associated expenses, and details of pension contribution and charitable donations.
3. Make sure your paperwork is organised and easy to follow, whether supplied digitally or in hard copy format.
4. Keep copies of the information supplied to your accountant.
5. Advise your accountant of any changes in your personal circumstances – such as change of address, whether you have got married or divorced etc.
6. Deal with any queries promptly.
7. Pay any tax due on time.
What are the penalties for late returns?
You will be charged a late filing penalty if your self-assessment tax return is filed late. The normal deadline for filing the 2018/19 tax return online is midnight on 31 January 2020. A later deadline applies if your notice to file a return was issued after 31 October 2019 – this is three months from the date of the notice.
If you wanted an underpayment (available for underpayments of up to £3,000) to be collected through PAYE, via an adjustment to your tax code, you would have had to file returns by 30 December 2019. And you would have had to file paper returns by 31 October 2019 (or three months from the date of the notice to file, where this was issued after 31 July 2019) to avoid a penalty – however, if you missed this deadline, you can avoid a penalty by filing online, by 31 January 2020.
£100 Penalty And More
You should know that returns filed late, attract a late filing penalty of £100. You will be charged even if there is no tax to pay or the tax is paid on time. You will also be charged further penalties, if your return has not been filed three months after the due date – from that point daily penalties of £10 per day start, to accrue for a maximum of 90 days (£900). At the six month and 12-month point, you will then be charged additional penalties set at the higher of 5% of the tax due and £300. You will also be charged penalties if tax is paid late, in addition to any interest that may accrue. The trigger dates you should watch out for are 30 days late, six months late and 12 months late. At each date, the penalty is 5% of the tax outstanding at the trigger date.