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What happens when you miss the tax return deadline?

January 31st has now passed. Most people spent the arrival of February with their tax return submitted well in advance, while others were exhausted after rushing to file it. And a few will have missed the deadline altogether.

miss the tax return deadline

If you’re in the latter group, don’t be tempted to hide away from doing your tax return. Nothing is gained with avoidance. Here, is some guidance on how to deal with the situation as told by GoSimpleTax.


A submission that is 1 second late results in a £100 penalty. And if you continue to delay filing your return this isn’t the only fine you will occur, after 90 days you will be fined a further £10 a day.

This stage will last for a maximum of 90 days. After this, there is either a £300 penalty, or you’ll be fined 5% of the amount of tax owed, depending which is higher. If you still haven’t submitted your tax return by the time the next deadline comes around, this penalty will be applied again.

The last day for paying any tax owed is also the 31st January. After this date, there is a 30-day period where you are able to pay the tax owed without incurring any further penalties. After this period, you will be fined 5% interest on the amount due.

Speed up the filing process

Many people procrastinate when it comes to filing your self-assessment as they believe it takes a substantial amount of time. However, this is not the case because your tax return can actually be done within minutes if you’re thoroughly organised.

Having an understanding of the documents you require and gathering them before you begin the process will speed up the process. If you’re having to continuously search for them it will more than likely aggravate you, particularly as HMRC signs you out of their online system after a certain time period.

Choosing the right tax software

If you come to the decision that you want to use self-assessment software, then you will have to make sure that you select tools that make the process as easy as possible. Ideally, it will have full functionality, which will provide you with the capability to capture expenses on your smartphone or even submit your tax return on the same device.

Tax saving suggestions are another great feature – you’ll not need to figure out if you’re able to reduce your liability, the software will tell you.

Although you can’t turn back the time to meet this year’s deadline date, you can, however, ensure you meet next year’s by inputting your information throughout the coming 12 months. When upcoming due date approaches, you’ll be able to click submit.

More on filing your self-assessment and small business tax.

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