Self-employment tax deadline looms

Self-employed people need to act quickly to send in paper self-assessment returns, as the deadline of 31 October is fast-approaching.

Everyone filing late will have to pay a £100 penalty, even if there is no tax to pay or it is eventually paid on time.

The only way to avoid this will be to use the online filing system, which has a deadline of 31 January 2013.

Daily penalties of £10 per day will also take effect if the tax return is still outstanding three months after the filing date, up to a maximum of £900.

If the return still remains outstanding further higher penalties will be charged from six months and 12 months late.

The only exception is for taxpayers who have received a letter from HM Revenue & Customs stating that they must submit a paper return after 30 July 2012 - they have an extended deadline that is three months from the date they received the letter.

This article was written for our sister publication Money Observer

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