The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) is urging anyone who has not yet filed their online self-assessment tax return with HMRC for the year ended 5 April 2015, to do so by the end of this month or risk being charged more money.

HMRC’s next round of late filing fines under Self Assessment when the tax authority is allowed to charge individual taxpayers with overdue tax returns £10 per day until the return is submitted. These fines are on top of the £100 fixed penalty that HMRC will already have charged people for missing the statutory filing deadline of 31 January 2016.

The additional £10 per day penalty can be charged for a maximum of 90 days and so anyone who still has a return outstanding at the end of July will have accumulated fines of £1,000 in total. They are also likely to incur a further penalty of at least £300 if the return is not filed by 31 July 2016. 

Anthony Thomas, LITRG Chairman, said

“Automatic penalties for late submission of self-assessment tax returns take no account of the amount of tax an individual owes. They are the same for everyone – even if you owe nothing at all or are owed tax back. Those on low incomes who may be struggling to deal with the tax system alone can very easily fall foul of them simply due to being insufficiently aware of their tax obligations. 

“Importantly, the fines can be appealed against if you have a reasonable excuse for filing the return late.  This might include situations such as prolonged ill-health, bereavement, or family breakdown – to give just a few examples.

“We would strongly urge anyone with an overdue return to submit it as soon as possible; and to do so online as a paper return for 2014/15 will already attract the maximum £1,000 penalty. You can then appeal against the fines by writing to HMRC to explain why the return has been filed late.”