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How much is the fine if you miss the self-assessment tax deadline and how to avoid paying if you get one?

IN AN ideal world you will complete your tax return is as short time as possible and will submit the forms days before the deadline.

However life doesnt always going to according to plan and if you miss the boat you will be slapped with a fine.

The fine varies depending on how late your forms are find out below how, and if, you can get your decision overturned.

Portrait of stressed businessman with crumbled papers in hands at workplace
If you a reasonable excuse then you need not fear if you fined for filing a late tax return

When is the deadline for submitting my tax return?

If youre submitting your tax return online, the deadline is today, so you dont have long.

If you were supposed to fill out a paper form, this should have been filed by October 31, 2016.

There is a further deadline of July 31 for people who make advance payments towards their bill this is known as payments on account.

In what circumstances will I be fined?

If youve read our useful guide on how to file your tax returns but have still submitted them up to three months late you will befined 100.

If you submit them later than three months your penalty will vary depending on how just how late you are.

Your fine will also be larger if you have failed to pay your tax bill on time.

In those two circumstances a tool on the HMRC website allows you to estimate how much your fine will be.

It allows you to calculate fines for the current tax year.

It doesnt take account of partial payments or penalty payments youve made towards your tax bill.

The tool also doesnt consider interest or penalties from previous tax years, or credit you have from previous tax years.

You can appeal if you are fined in the following circumstances.

  • Youve sent your return in late
  • You have paid your tax late
  • You have not paid enough tax
  • You have failed to keep adequate records
USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Stressed young businesswoman doing paperwork. Image shot 2010. Exact date unknown.
When you are issued with a penalty letter, the appeal form you need will also be found inside

How do I submit my appeal?

If the HMRC sends you a penalty letter an appeal form will come with it in the post.

The appeal should be sent to the HMRCs address for Self Assessment enquiries, which is: Self Assessment, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AS, United Kingdom.

If you receive your penalty notice via emailyou can fill in an SA370 form to appeal.

If you are seeking to overturn a penalty you are only in with a chance if you have a reasonable excuse.

Whats a reasonable excuse?

The HMRC classifies the following as good reasons to file your tax return late

  • Your partner or a close relative has died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline
  • You had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs
  • You had a serious or life-threatening illness
  • Your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online return
  • HMRCs online services had technical issues
  • Flooding, a fire, or theft prevented you from completing your tax return
  • Postal delays that were unforeseeable
Stressed Couple with Paperwork
If you do get fined it might help to remember you are not the only one

What wont count as a reasonable excuse

If you are going to say the following you might as well not bother appealing

  • You asked someone else to submit it and they didnt
  • Your cheque bounced or payment failed because you didnt have enough cash
  • You found the HMRC online system too difficult to use
  • You didnt get a reminder from HMRC
  • You made a mistake on your tax return

If you need any more information about appealing your fine visit the relevant page on HMRCs website.


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