I missed the UK tax filing deadline, now what?
The deadline for sending online 2021/22 Self Assessment tax returns to HMRC, and for paying the related tax, was 31 January 2023 which means late filers will likely get a penalty but still need to submit a tax return. Let’s break down, exactly what this means:
What happens if I don’t send in my tax return?
If you are sent a tax return, you are legally obliged to fill it in and send it back, even if you don’t owe any tax (even if you have not earned any money for the year in question). The only exception is if you can persuade HMRC to withdraw the tax return.
If you don’t send the return back you will be charged penalties and might be sent an estimated tax bill (called a determination). Once a determination has been made HM Revenue and Customs is entitled to the tax due as set out on that determination and can collect it through the courts. The only way to cancel the debt is to send in a tax return to establish the correct amount of tax due.
What are the penalties for late filing?
If you miss the filing dates of 31 October following the end of the tax year (for paper returns) or 31 January (for online submission), you will be charged a penalty of £100, and this will not be refunded, even if no tax is owing. If you are three months late, you will be charged a daily penalty of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900. If you are six months late there will be a penalty of £300 (or 5% of the tax owing if this is greater). If you are 12 months late, you will be charged another £300 (or 5% of the tax owing if this is greater).
Can the HMRC withdraw a return?
If you think you do not need to submit a tax return, for example because all your income is taxed under PAYE, you can phone HMRC on 0300 200 3310 and ask for the tax return to be withdrawn. If HMRC agrees, this will means that you no longer have to file a return and any penalties issued for missing the tax return filing deadline will be set aside. There is a two year time-limit from the end of the tax year in which to ask HMRC to withdraw a tax return.
Can I appeal against a penalty?
If there are exceptional circumstances that can explain why you missed the tax return filing deadline, you can appeal against the penalty. You can download the usual appeal form SA370 from the Gov.uk website. People who have a genuine excuse may win their appeal without the need for a hearing, as HM Revenue and Customs may agree with you if you show a determination to go to the Tax Tribunal.