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HMRC to hand out 750,000 £100 late penalties

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs are set to hand out 750,000 late penalties to the quarter of a million small business owners who missed the 31 January deadline.

The tax return deadline has come and gone, and anyone who didn’t get their self-assessment tax return will now end up being fined a minimum of £100 now that they’re officially late. Of course, the taxman is keeping track of how long it will take you, as you could end up being charged as much as £900 in fees – £10 for every day past 31 January that you delay further – so the time to act is now before you end up being charged an arm and a leg for your tardiness.

However, if you missed the deadline, HMRC may grant you a waiver if you have a valid reason such as illness or family bereavement. If not, you will end up facing additional penalties of 5 per cent of the tax owed or £300 after a six month delay – and this fee will increase by another £300 if you let a whole 12 months go by.

The taxman has been clamping down on late returns as of late, according to accountancy experts. In fact, last year saw approximately £1 billion in penalties issued by HMRC, and tax specialists say that you simply must act quickly to avoid being subject to massive late fees and fixed penalties.

Of course, what you should have done was not have waited until the last minute anyway, but it’s a bit late for that. The best you can do now is to file your taxes immediately before the fees mount too high.“Whilst we are urging people not to delay in filing, first make absolutely sure you haven’t been issued a tax return in error; for instance your business may have ceased trading and HMRC may not have the changes on record.”

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