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With less than one month for Self Assessment customers to file their tax return, the Fed is urgently reminding members to complete the process, as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have said anyone who filed after January 31 2023 may face a penalty.

Last year, HMRC encouraged Self Assessment customers to complete their tax return before Christmas.

Following the alert, HMRC revealed more than 42,500 customers chose to see in the new year by submitting their return on December 31 2022 and January 1 2023, and 129 customers submitted theirs on January 1.

  • New Year’s Eve: 25,043 tax returns were filed. The peak time for filing was between 14:00 and 14:59, when 2,713 returns were received.
  • New Year’s Day: 17,571 tax returns were filed. The peak time for filing was between 15:00 and 15:59, when 1,697 returns were received.

In an HMRC news release issued today (January 3), Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “There is less than one month for customers to submit their tax returns and my message to those yet to start is: don’t delay, do it online. HMRC provides lots of useful information to help you get started. Visit GOV.UK and search ‘Self Assessment’.”

Customers who provide HMRC with a reasonable excuse before the  January 31 deadline can avoid a penalty after this date. The penalties for late tax returns are:

  • an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time
  • after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900
  • after 6 months, a further penalty of 5 per cent of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater
  • after 12 months, another 5 per cent or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5 per cent of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six months and 12 months. Information about the different ways to pay, including via the HMRC app, can be found on GOV.UK.

HMRC has a wide range of resources to help customers complete their tax return, including guidance, webinars and YouTube videos.

Those who are unable to pay their tax bill in full can access support and advice on GOV.UK. HMRC may be able to help by arranging an affordable payment plan, known as Time to Pay. Customers should try to do this online; go to GOV.UK for more information. Alternatively, they can contact the helpline. The Fed is urging members not to wait to action their next steps.

Customers need to be aware of the risk of falling victim to scams. Check HMRC scams advice on GOV.UK.

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