24 October 2011 by

Penalty kicks, where it hurts

HMRC is cheerily promoting online filing of tax returns set in the context of how things can so easily go wrong for those resolutely continuing to file paper returns. Here are its highlights.

31 October is the deadline for paper tax returns

If you send a paper tax return for the 2010-11 tax year, it must reach HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by midnight on Monday 31 October 2011. If your return is late, you’ll have to pay a penalty, even if you have no tax to pay or if you pay all the tax you owe on time.

If you complete your tax return online, you have three months longer to send it. The deadline for online tax returns is 31 January 2012.

Sending attachments with your tax return

You should only attach material that directly supports your return. Only attach information if you can’t enter it in the ‘any other information’ boxes on the paper tax return or supplementary pages.

If you send your tax return online, you can include supporting attachments up to 5mb in size.

Paying your tax

You must pay any amount due for 2010-11 by 31 January 2012. The payment deadline is the same whether you send a paper or an online tax return.

HMRC recommends that you make your Self Assessment payments electronically. It’s safe and secure and provides certainty about when your payment will reach HMRC.

What happens if you miss the tax return deadline?

If you miss the deadline for sending in your paper tax return, you should send it online instead. If you don’t, you will have to pay a penalty. You must send your return online by midnight on 31 January 2012.

If you do still send a paper tax return and it reaches HMRC after the 31 October deadline, you’ll have to pay a penalty. The penalty is £100. You’ll still have to pay this even if:

  • your return is just a day late
  • you have no tax to pay
  • you pay all the tax you owe before 31 January 2012

The longer you delay, the more you’ll have to pay. If your tax return is three months late, you’ll have to pay a penalty for each additional day it is late. If it is six months late, you’ll have to pay a further penalty and another final penalty if it is 12 months late. Together these could add up to a penalty of £1,600 or more.

Happy Trafalgar Day.

14 October 2011 by Sonal Ghelani

Don’t pooh-pooh these changes

The Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011 (‘the Regulations’) came into effect from 1 October 2011.

19 October 2011 by

Divorce and Lottery Winnings

In what is thought to be the first ruling on a lottery prize in divorce proceedings in England and Wales it was found that where a husband or wife was ‘unilaterally buying tickets from his or her own income’, without the knowledge of their partner, then it was ‘easy’ to see the prize was a ‘receipt by that party alone’ and therefore as ‘non-matrimonial property’.

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