750,000 self-employed people could soon receive HMRC fine

Nearly 750,000 people missed the deadline to file their Self Assessment tax return, running the risk of a £100 fine.

HMRC said that 10.7 million people filed on time, but that 6.5 per cent of those required to submit a tax return failed to do so by the deadline.

This is down on the seven per cent who were late in 2017.

How much could you be fined for missing the Self Assessment deadline?

Self-employed people who miss the Self Assessment tax deadline are theoretically liable for an automatic fine of £100, providing they file within three months of the deadline.

In addition, there are penalties for paying your tax bill late.

  • If you’re up to 30 days late, you’ll be fined five per cent of the total tax due.
  • After three months, you’ll receive a £10 penalty for each further day overdue, up to a maximum of £900.
  • At six months late you’ll be charged another five per cent, and again at 12 months late.

The penalties for late payment are strictly enforced. However, there have been indications that the penalties for late payment are being relaxed.

In 2015, the Revenue said it would concentrate its penalties on “those who persistently fail to complete their tax returns and deliberate evaders,” and is keen to “differentiate between deliberate and persistent non-compliers and those who might make an occasional error.”

The government has also announced the planned introduction of a ‘points’ system, under which late filers will accrue points for infractions, similar to those added to driving licenses. When a points threshold has been reached, a fine will be given. It’s thought that this system will be rolled out from 2019, beginning with VAT returns.

Shortly after the 2017 deadline, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group encouraged late filers to appeal their fine if they had a genuine excuse. However, Self Assessment taxpayers who do appeal should be aware that HMRC may ask for evidence to back up their claim.

What are the other key self-employed tax deadlines?

As a self-employed person or small business owner, there’s a range of important tax deadlines that you need to be aware of. It’s not just Self Assessment – you might also need to deal with VAT returns, Corporation Tax, PAYE, and National Insurance Contributions.

Read more in our guide to tax deadlines for your business.

How can I make my tax return easier?

Completing your Self Assessment tax return can be a pain, and if it’s your first time it might seem daunting.

To help, we’ve compiled the small business guide to Self Assessment tax returns, giving you comprehensive information on how and when to file, and some tips to make your return easier.

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