Submit Self Assessment “immediately” or risk fines, says ICAEW

A leading accountancy body is “urging” taxpayers who have yet to submit their Self Assessment for 2017/18 to do so “immediately”.

Publishing the report, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) said business owners and self-employed traders have until the end of April to complete their tax return or risk “additional daily fines”.

The penalties for not completing the Self Assessment return by 31 January – the official online deadline – is an automatic £100 fine.

However, leave completing the return to any later than 30 April 2019, an additional penalty of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900, will be due.

If for whatever reason your Self Assessment is not complete six months after the initial deadline, a further penalty of five per cent of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater, will be due. After 12 months, a second five per cent penalty will be added.

The report comes after the ICAEW revealed that almost 700,000 taxpayers missed the online Self Assessment deadline in January.

Commenting on the report, Sarah Ghaffari, ICAEW Technical Tax Manager, said: “Although £10 doesn’t seem like much, it quickly adds up. The additional fines could reach up to £900, leaving people with a total bill of £1,000 by the end of July. That’s more than the cost of a new iPhone.”

“If you haven’t submitted your 2017/18 return yet, you should send it online – if you send in a paper return at this stage, the penalties will be even higher as the deadline for paper returns was 31 October 2018.”

Ms Ghaffari added that taxpayers with a “reasonable excuse” may not receive penalties, but will need to provide evidence of the circumstances that delayed their return, which must have applied since January 2019.

“Excuses like being away on business or a dog eating your return won’t be accepted, but if you were suffering from a serious illness you’ll just need to file your return as soon as you can. HMRC has even provided a tool so you can see what the penalties will be so do not delay,” she said.

If you need help and advice on Self Assessment, please get in touch with our expert team.

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