If you we're too slow with the stopwatch the syear and you've missed the tax return deadline, here's what should do.
Thousands of taxpayers have just missed the Self Assessment Tax return (SATR) deadline of 31 January. We don’t have this year’s figures yet, but last year around 10% filed their returns late
Here’s what you should do if your SATR is late. 

File your SATR as soon as possible 

If your return is less than three months late you’ll pay a £100 fine. However, HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) also charges interest if your tax payments and payments on account are late. 
The longer you leave your SATR, the more penalties and interest you’ll pay. To prevent further penalties, you must submit your SATR. However, interest charges will still continue until you pay what is owed. If you will struggle to pay your tax bill contact HMRC to find out about setting up a payment plan. This is called a Time to Pay arrangement. 
The HMRC has an online tool to estimate what you’ll pay for a late submission and late payments. 

Check whether you had a ‘reasonable excuse’ 

HMRC says it will accept 'reasonable excuses’ for missing the SATR deadline. This might include an unforeseeable or unusual event outside your control. 
To lodge an appeal you will need some proof of your situation and each case is reviewed on merit. 

If your agent didn't file your tax return 

You are responsible for your tax affairs, even if you have an agent. For example, you might rely on your accountant to complete your SATR. However, if they didn’t do it on time, it won’t be accepted as a reasonable excuse. 

If you have made a mistake on your SATR 

You can make changes to a tax return after you filed it, for example because you made a mistake. You’ll receive an updated tax bill based on the information you provide. You might have to pay more tax or you can claim a refund. You can correct your SATR within 12 months of the deadline either online or by sending a paper return. 

Submit your next SATR in April 

The best way to avoid fines and penalties is to submit your SATR as soon as you can. Last year 77,500 people submitted theirs on 6 April. 
There are quite a few benefits to an early SATR, but most importantly you’ll know how much money you must put aside to pay your tax bill. That gives you almost 10 months to save a small amount regularly. That’s much easier than having to find a large lump sum straight after Christmas. It can also provides the opportunity to make payments in instalments. 
Please get in touch if you would like some help to sort out a late SATR or to prepare for an early submission this year. 
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