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Deadline looms for paper tax returns

Press Release   •   Oct 17, 2012 10:23 BST

Paper tax returns received on or after 1 November will result in a £100 penalty – even if there is no tax to pay or the tax due is paid on time.

If you’re not able to submit a paper return by the end of the month, you can avoid a late-filing penalty by sending your return online by 31 January.

As well as having an extra three months to file, if you file online your tax is calculated automatically and your tax return is processed faster, so any money you’re owed is repaid more quickly. Registering for HMRC Online Services is simple – just go to www.hmrc.gov.uk/online

If you are sending a paper return close to the deadline, HMRC recommends you obtain proof of posting, as this provides evidence of your posting date in the event of any appeal against a late-filing penalty.

For general help and advice on completing a return, visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa or call the Self Assessment helpline on 0845 9000 444.

Notes for editors

1. Around 10.6m Self Assessment returns/notices to complete a tax return have been sent out by HMRC for the 2011/12 tax year.

2. The penalties for late Self Assessment returns are:

- an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on
time;
- after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900;
- after 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and
- after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

3. There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at: 30 days; 6 months; and 12 months.

4. Further information on penalties is available from the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/deadlines-penalties.htm

5. Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk

6. Images are available on HMRC’s flickr site www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk 

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.