Avoid the penalties: Two million still to file tax returns with just one day left

30 January 2018

Workers who need to file a 2016/17 self-assessment tax return have until tomorrow (31 January) to do it.

But while nine million had already filed their returns as of yesterday lunchtime (29 January 2018),  two million were yet to do so.

HMRC has warned that failure to submit a return by 31 January will incur an instant £100 penalty.

A spokesperson from HMRC says: “We have around two million self-assessment returns left to file, which is normal for this point and is coming down fast every minute.

“We know that customers have busy lives and can put their tax returns off until the last minute, and we are ready for that – our phone lines are open until 10pm and webchat till midnight between now and the deadline. On Monday (yesterday) alone, we had just under half a million returns in, and this always increases in the last two days.”

If you are still yet to file your return you can do so through your personal tax account, which takes just five minutes to set up.

Those who are submitting a return online for the first time will need to register for self-assessment online first. However, the paperwork for registering can take a few days to arrive, so at this stage it may already be too late. HMRC say if this is the case, you should contact it as soon as possible via its self-assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC director general of customer services, says: “Put a stop to that niggling feeling and do your self-assessment now. Our helpful online services offer support and advice, so you can complete your tax return quicker than you think.”

What happens if I miss the deadline?

Failure to submit your return on time incurs a £100 fixed penalty even if there is no tax to pay or if the tax is due to be paid on time. After three months, additional penalties of £10 per day are made up to a maximum of £900.

After six months, another 5% penalty of all the tax due or £300 is made, whichever is greater. This is then repeated at 12 months. 

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