Countdown to paper tax return deadline begins

The countdown to the paper tax return deadline has begun.

Paper returns must be filed by Monday 31 October to avoid a late filing penalty. This year has seen changes to penalties, which mean that if you file late, you will still be hit with a £100 fine, even if there is no tax to pay, or you have paid the tax due on time.

The changes also mean that the longer you delay, the more you will have to pay in penalties. If your tax return is three months late you will 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.

According to HMRC just over 10 million Self Assessment returns/notices to complete a tax return have been sent out for the 2010/11 tax year.

If you cannot file your paper return by Monday, you can still avoid a penalty by filing online before 31 January.