Have You Filed Your Tax Returns?
18th January 2012
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Well, it's that time of year again -  the dreaded tax return! To give you a helping hand here’s a survival guide to the things you need to do to avoid those nasty penalties and charges!


Step 1

If you have not registered for online filing, do so now. HM Revenue and Customs will need to post you your login details which can take up to a week to arrive. So registering now should mean that you will only just be able
to complete your tax return in time. Once registered you can also view your statements online. One of the benefits of this is your tax is worked out automatically as you complete the form, so you know what you owe or are owed right away.

Step 2

Check now that you have all the information to complete your tax return. If you need to ask an employer for details of last year’s earnings (form P60) or benefits (form P11D) or you need to ask the bank for details of interest earned in the year, this may take a few days. Don’t leave it to the last minute or you won’t be able to complete your return in time.

Step 3

Take professional advice if you've had anything complex in the year; penalties can be due if you complete your tax return incorrectly. Some examples of complexity may include shares or share options from your employer, anything sold which may give you a capital gain or loss or if you have received income from overseas which could qualify for a lower tax rate.

Step 4

Make sure you claim all the reliefs you're entitled to. For example, pension contributions, gift aid payments to charity throughout the year and tax efficient investments such as VCT or EIS. Also make sure that you have claimed loss relief where you have lost money, in some cases income tax relief may be available for losses on shares.

Step 5

Take care when entering information to complete your tax return online. A simple transposition error could lead to a significant difference in tax liability for which you could face large penalties.

It is more important this year that tax returns are submitted on time. A new penalty regime now applies and tax returns only one day late will attract a £100 penalty. Leave it six months and the penalty will be at least £1,300
plus a percentage of the tax due!

Penalty you will have to pay

1 day late
A fixed penalty of £100. This applies even if you
have no tax to pay or have paid the tax you owe.

3 months late
£10 for each following day - up to a 90 day
maximum of £900. This is as well as the fixed
penalty above.

6 months late
£300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the
higher. This is as well as the penalties above.

12 months late
£300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the
In serious cases you may be asked to pay up to
100% of the tax due instead.

These are as well as the penalties above.



- author Baker Tilly


About the Author

Pardip & Nim

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, we are Pardip & Nim Virdee owners of thebestofharrow. We are passionate about providing the best source of local information to the Harrow community.

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