What to do if you miss the tax return deadline

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The deadline for filing your 2021/22 self-assessment tax return online was 31st January 2023. The deadline for paper tax returns was 31st October 2022.

On extremely unusual occasions, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) may grant an alternate filing date for your tax return. Aside from these cases, it is usually impossible to get an extension for the filing deadline.

No matter how you submitted your taxes, all outstanding taxes must be paid by 1/31/2023. If payments are not made by then, there will be an interest fee added.

What consequences exist for filing taxes after the due date?

If the HMRC requests you to submit a tax return for the 2021/22 fiscal year and you do not adhere to the deadline, a penalty will be imposed without regard to how late you are, even if it is a single minute, or the size of your tax obligation. Even if you are due a refund, a fine will still be applied in most cases.

Presently, there are repercussions for not submitting your personal assessment tax return on time, and these are:

  • 1 day- If your tax filing is not completed by the 31st of January 2023, you will be charged a fixed penalty fee of £100, even if you don’t owe any taxes or have already paid what is due.
  • 3 months- When payments are late by 3 months, a fee of £10 per day will be incurred up to a maximum of £900.
  • 6 months- If the tax payment is six months overdue, an individual will be liable to pay either £300 or 5% of the amount of tax due, whichever is the greater amount.
  • 12 months- If one is late in filing taxes for a period of 12 months, they may be required to pay either £300 or 5% of the amount of tax owed – whichever is higher. In more serious cases, the person may be asked to pay the full amount of tax due.

The late filing penalties for a tax return that is overdue by a year can be more than £1,600 depending on the amount of tax owed, and these fines are cumulative.

Consequences for not paying taxes on time include:

  • 30 days late- If you do not pay your taxes by the 1st of April, you will be liable for a 5% tax fee. However, due to the current pandemic, this penalty has been removed.
  • 6 months late- If taxes are not paid within six months, 5% of the amount owing will be applied on the due date.
  • 12 months late- If the tax payment is not made within a year, then 5% of the amount due must be paid at that time.

In addition to the sanctions for unpaid taxes, an annual rate of 2.75% is applied to the amount of remaining taxes and any overdue penalties.

I have not yet filed my taxes, what steps should I take?

Before anything else, you must decide whether or not you are obligated to file a tax return and if there is a valid basis for the postponement.

Cancelling a tax return:

If you don’t think you need to submit a tax return, it’s best to ring HMRC and ask that the return be removed. If they agree, you don’t have to submit the form and any penalties issued due to missing the deadline should be abolished.

Be sure to make a note of who you spoke to, when, the outcome you anticipate, and when you will receive an answer.

HMRC is not likely to take away a return if you have been self-employed at any point in the tax year – even if it was only for a short time. Generally, you will have two years from the completion of the tax year to request the return’s withdrawal, but it is always better to take care of your taxes promptly.

Reasonable excuses:

If you can demonstrate an acceptable justification for the postponement, you might be able to challenge the penalty. HMRC includes multiple typical Reasonable Excuses on its website, such as: 

  • Your partner or another close relative died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline
  • You had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs
  • You had a serious or life-threatening illness
  • Your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online return
  • Service issues with HMRC online services
  • A fire, flood or theft prevented you from completing your tax return
  • Postal delays that you couldn’t have predicted
  • Delays related to a disability you have

What would not be considered a plausible justification?

Typically, the following do not suffice as a valid justification:

  • you relied on someone else to send your return and they didn’t
  • your cheque bounced or payment failed because you didn’t have enough money
  • you found the HMRC online system too difficult to use
  • you didn’t get a reminder from HMRC
  • you made a mistake on your tax return

HMRC also announced some of the most unbelievable explanations that were given to them. Click here to read more.

If you have not met the due date, submit your tax paperwork as soon as you can.

In the event that it is not possible to revoke your tax return and you don’t have a valid justification, it’s advisable to submit your tax return as soon as you can – regardless of whether or not you’re able to pay your taxes yet. As you’ve seen, the penalties for filing late will only become steeper the longer you wait.

What is the deadline for submitting an amended tax return?

If you end up making an error on your tax return, you can modify it, but you must submit the amendments before the deadline of January 31, 2024, for a 2021/22 self-assessment tax return.

Get in touch:

At our company, we enjoy cooperating with autonomous experts and self-employed entrepreneurs. If your accountant is not providing you with the service and help you require, please contact us. We offer complimentary initial consultations, guidance and aid on the phone or through video conferencing if you have any worries about physical meetings.

Looking for a Tax Return Accountant? Please contact us via phone on 01204 938696 OR email us at: info@yrfaccountants.com