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Self Assessment Late Filing Penalties
Story added: 15/07/2010

New rules have been introduced with effect from 2009-10 that make a major change to the way that penalties are charged for late filed self assessment tax returns.

Tax returns must be filed by 31 January following the end of the tax year. The fine for missing the 31 January filing deadline is £100, with a further £100 charged if the return remains outstanding at 31 July.

Under the old rules, there was a "get out" in that the fine could never exceed the amount of tax outstanding at 31 January following the end of the tax year. Therefore in cases where a refund was due, or where the taxpayer had paid all taxes due for the year by 31 January, there could be no penalty - even if the return missed the filing deadline.

From 2009/10 onwards, the capping of the fixed penalties to the level of tax outstanding at 31 January will disappear. Therefore, the £100 fixed penalties which become due for tax returns filed online after 31 January following the end of the tax year, or for paper returns filed after 31 October (and again for returns filed after 31 July) will now be automatic, irrespective of the amount of tax outstanding at 31 January; even if this is zero or there is a repayment due.

It is now more important than ever to get orgainsed and ensure your return is filed on time.

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