Around 5,542,000 taxpayers have less than a month to complete their self-assessment tax returns before 31 January deadline.

In total, more than 11.5 million 2017/18 tax returns are due. As of 31 December 2018, approximately 52% of taxpayers have already filed their returns, with five million having completed their returns online (88% of the total returns filed).

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride, said: “It is encouraging that around 52% of taxpayers have already completed their self-assessment tax returns. With less than one month to go before the deadline, there are still many people that need to act now.

“HMRC is encouraging all self-assessment filers to complete their returns by 31 January and is offering support every step of the way.”

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “If you are completing self-assessment for the first time or are yet to start your 2017/18 tax return, there is a wide range of support and guidance available on GOV.UK to help at every stage of the tax return process.”

People must complete a tax return if they:

  • or their partner received child benefit and either of them had an annual income of more than earned £2500 from renting out property

  • or their partner received child benefit and either of them had an annual income of more than £50,000

  • received more than £2500 in other untaxed income, for example from tips or commission

  • are self-employed sole traders

  • are limited company directors

  • are shareholders

  • are employees claiming expenses in excess of £2500

  • have an annual income over £100,000

  • earned income from abroad that they need to pay tax on.

If customers completed a self-assessment tax return last year but did not have any tax to pay, they still need to complete a 2017/18 tax return, unless HMRC has written to them to say it is not required.

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 three months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900

  • after six months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater

  • after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six months and 12 months.

This article first appeared on www.accountancydaily.co.

Last reviewed 7 January 2019