Tax man reminds us about new self-assessment penalties

The HMRC, HM Revenues and Customs, are reminding both businesses and individuals about the new self-assessment penalties being brought in this autumn for late payments and returns. These changes will affect the self-assessment returns for the tax year 2010/11, and all future years.

The new penalties for returning your self-assessments late will be an initial fixed penalty of £100, and this will now also apply even if you owe no tax, or if you pay your tax on time. If you still have not sent in your return within a further 3 month period you will pay a daily penalty of £10, up to maximum of £900.

After 6 months, you will be liable to pay a further 5% of any tax due or £300, whichever is the greatest. After 12 months there will be another 5% or £300 payable, whichever is greater. In serious cases, they can actually penalise you by charging you 100% of your tax which is due.

The penalties for paying late differ from those for late returns. There are penalties after 30 days, 6 months and 12 months. These are all 5% of the tax that is going unpaid, and interest will also be charged. The deadline to get your tax return on by stays at 31st October for paper returns and 31st Jan for those who do it online.

If there is anything else you want to know about the new penalties, log on to twww.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/deadlines-penalties.htm. If you need and help or advice on completing your self-assessment tax return, you will find everything that you need to know by visiting www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/