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What to do if you missed the self assessment deadline, explains ICAEW

If you are one of the 6%* of people who missed the self assessment deadline, complete your tax return as soon as possible to avoid your penalty increasing further. If you think your penalty is unfair, ICAEW explains the circumstances in which you might be able to query this with HMRC.

January 2019 saw a record number of tax returns filed on time (93.6%)*, but more than 700,000 taxpayers missed the deadline. If you have missed the deadline, HMRC can make allowances for genuine excuses, but it is important to both file the return and make HMRC aware of the circumstances as soon as you can.

Anita Monteith, ICAEW Technical Tax Manager explains:

“HMRC is not very forgiving when it comes to taxpayers missing the deadline, however, if you think you shouldn’t have needed to file a tax return at all, call HMRC and explain why you think this is the case. For example, if you had only employment income during the tax year and all the tax was paid correctly under PAYE, HMRC may cancel the return and the associated penalty.

“If you believe you had a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline, you should make HMRC aware of this by making an appeal against the penalty, but the reason must continue between the filing deadline and shortly before you actually file the return. So if you have flu and had been putting it off until 31 January then were too ill to file on time, as soon as you are better, you have to complete and file your return ASAP or the penalty won’t be cancelled. HMRC generally takes a narrow view on what is a reasonable excuse and will not consider an appeal until the return has been filed.

“Finally, if you registered for online filing for the first time before the 31 January filing date, but didn’t get your access code in time to file before 31 January, HMRC may accept this as a reasonable excuse. However, in line with all other excuses, it is important that you make HMRC aware of this as soon as possible.”

*Figures from HMRC

 

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