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300,000 miss tax return deadline and face late filing penalty

Written by: Emma Lunn
HMRC received a record 11.7 million tax returns on time by midnight yesterday – but an estimated 300,000 taxpayers are yet to submit their self-assessment paperwork.

Tuesday 31 January 2023 was the deadline to file self-assessment returns for the 2021/22 financial year, and pay any tax owed.

Yesterday saw 861,085 taxpayers file their return online to meet the deadline, some with just minutes to spare. There were 36,767 people who filed in the last hour before the deadline, but the peak hour for filing was between 4pm and 5pm, when 68,462 taxpayers submitted their return.

More than 12 million Brits were expected to file a self-assessment tax return for the 2021/22 tax year – meaning about 300,000 people are still to file and risk being fined by HMRC.

Fines for late returns

If you failed to file your return by the deadline (and pay any tax owed), you may be hit with an initial £100 fixed penalty, even if no tax is owed.

The usual penalties for late tax returns are as follows:

  • After three months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900
  • After six months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater
  • After 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater

There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six months and 12 months.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “Thank you to the millions of customers and agents who got their tax returns in on time. Customers who have yet to file, and who are concerned that they will not be able to pay in full, may be able to spread the cost of what they owe with a payment plan. Search ‘pay my Self Assessment’ on GOV.UK to find out more.”

The self-assessment payment deadline was also yesterday. Anyone owing tax is urged to pay as soon as possible – you can do this online, using the HMRC app, by bank transfer, or at your bank.

Self-assessment taxpayers can plan ahead for their 2022/23 tax bill and set up a regular payment plan to help spread the cost. HMRC’s Budget Payment Plan enables workers who are up-to-date with previous payments to make regular weekly or monthly contributions towards their next tax bill.

A Budget Payment Plan is different from payments on account, which are usually due by midnight on 31 January and 31 July.

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