If you submit a Tax Return you will no doubt be aware that the 31st January 2013 Tax Return deadline is fast approaching. With this in mind we have asked our Taxwise consultants to remind us of some of the facts around the Tax Return submission process.

The deadline for on-line Tax Return submissions is the 31st January with the deadline for paper submissions back on the 31st October. In limited circumstances there may be an extension to these deadlines where the Revenue have written and advised you of the need to complete a Return, the deadline for the submission then being the later of the usual filing date or three months from the date of the letter.
Where a Return is submitted late a penalty of £100 will be levied. This is the case even if there is no outstanding tax liability to be paid or where the tax liability due is less than £100.

If the Return remains outstanding after 3 months then daily penalties of £10 per day are introduced which run for a maximum of 90 days.
Further penalties are levied after 6 or 12 months, these penalties are the greater of 5% of the tax liability or £300.

If you wanted to include your tax liability in your tax code, you are now too late! The deadline for this was 30 December, this is only available if the outstanding tax liability is less than £3,000.

Any outstanding tax liability, which could include payments on account for the next tax year, are due by the 31st January following the end of the tax year in question, regardless of how the actual Tax Return was submitted. An exception to this is if you were advised after 31 October, by HMRC, to complete a Tax Return. The payment date would then usually be 3 months after this notification.

Penalties for late payment commence when payment has not been made within 30 days. The penalty will be 5% of the outstanding amount at that point. Another 5% penalty is incurred when payment is 6 months late and a further 5% penalty if 12 months late. Any payments on account which are due but unpaid are not considered for these payments.

If payment is made late, there are interest and penalties to be paid. The interest rate currently levied by HMRC for late payments is 3%. This is payable on outstanding monies due, including unpaid penalties, until such time that HMRC receive payment.

Finally, you may be of the opinion that you have a ‘reasonable excuse’ as to why you have submitted your Return late and/or paid your tax late. This is usually where there has been an ‘unusual or unexpected’ event which has resulted in you missing a deadline. If you think this may be relevant and want to make an appeal to HMRC, further details can be found at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/appeals-decisions.htm.