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Old 10.10.2011, 22:49
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Big change to UK tax filing penalty charges

In case anyone missed the announcements previously, the penalties for late filing of taxes have been massively raised as of April 2011. Paper filings must be in by 31-Oct, with electronic filing by 31-Jan. So far, so same...but fail to meet those deadlines and the fine is potentially very large as described here http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/deadlines-penalties.htm

There used to be a rule that the fine was limited to any owed taxes. Thus if you file late but actually owe them nothing, you were still fined but a max of zero (happened to me last year). This rule has been dropped and the fines apply even if you owe no taxes.
Example

Mrs A's tax return is due on 31 January 2012 but HMRC don't receive it until 5 August 2012.

It is over six months late so she will have to pay all of the following:
  • 100 fixed penalty
  • 900 penalty - this is 10 each day from 1 May to 29 July, when the maximum 90 day penalty is reached.
  • 300 or 5 per cent of the tax due - whichever is the higher
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