Published: 27/01/2017 16:21 - Updated: 27/01/2017 16:27

Clock is ticking to file tax return

Written byLaura Murphy

IN MOST cases, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) must receive your 2016 Tax Return and any money you owe by the deadline of January 31, 2017.

Taxing time: Laura Murphy says there is still time to file your return.
Taxing time: Laura Murphy says there is still time to file your return.

As the deadline for submitting a paper tax return was Octiber 31, 2016 your tax return must now be submitted online.

If you submit your 2016 tax return by paper, you will be charged a penalty. If you are filing online for the first time, before you can sign in you must have your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and enrol for the HMRC online service, which can be done when you create a Government Gateway account. You must then activate the service using the code you will be sent in the post.

To sign in using the Government Gateway, you need to enter the user ID and password you received when you signed up to the Self-Assessment online service.

You will be unable to use the online service if you need to send a tax return for a partnership, for a trust or estate, if you lived abroad as a non-resident or if you received income from a trust, you are a Lloyd’s underwriter or a religious minister. Alternative software must be purchased or you should seek advice from an accountant or tax adviser.

The penalties for filing a Tax Return late are high. A £100 penalty would be charged on November 1, 2016 (if filed on paper) or February1,  2017 (if filed online) then up to £10 per day for tax returns that are three months late. £300 will then be charged for six months late then another £300 for tax returns that are 12 months late. As such, penalties of £1,600 or more can accrue over the first 12 months from the filing date.

Once you lodge your Tax Return with HMRC you must pay any tax you owe byJanuary 31, 2017. Again, you will be charged interest and may have to pay a penalty if your payment is late.

There are various ways to pay your tax and these at detailed on the HMRC website, remember to leave time for the funds to clear

If you would like any further information on how to complete your tax return, please contact your usual accountant or tax adviser.

Laura Murphy is a Tax Assistant Manager with Johnston Carmichael, based in Huntly.

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