Tax self-assessment: 890,000 face fine for missing deadline

tax return Image copyright Thinkstock

As many as 890,000 people face a £100 fine for failing to file their online tax returns on time, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said.

The deadline for self-assessment returns was midnight on 31 January.

The number failing to meet the deadline was greater than last year, but well below the 1.6 million recorded in 2010.

Further fines are imposed if people fail to complete their returns after three, six and 12 months.

However, the number of people meeting the deadline also improved, with 10.24 million people filing before the 31 January.

"This is another record-breaking year for self-assessment, with 210,000 more people filing their returns on time than last year," said Ruth Owen, HMRC's director general of personal tax.

But she also warned people that fines would mount up if they did not complete the forms quickly.

"If you're one of the minority who missed the deadline, you still need to get your tax return to us as soon as possible, to avoid further penalties and interest mounting up," she said.

Apart from the initial £100 penalty, the subsequent fines are as follows:

  • after three months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900
  • after six months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater
  • after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater

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