What to do if you’ve missed the self-assessment tax return deadline

Whilst you now face a £100 fine, it’s not too late to file your tax return and avoid further penalties. Here’s what steps you need to take to complete your self-assessment after the deadline…

Firstly, the longer you avoid completing your self-assessment, the more penalties you face – so the most important thing to remember is that you should do it as soon as possible after the deadline has passed.

You have three months to complete your tax return before the £100 fine increases, but don’t forget you’ll also incur interest if you’ve failed to pay your tax on time too.

Missing the deadline for self-assessment and failing to pay your tax bill on multiple occasions may make you vulnerable to inspection from HMRC inspectors. If you have failed to keep sufficient records of your finances, you can be charged up to £3,000 on top of penalties for late payments. However, this is reserved for cases where you have kept no records at all, if records have been deliberately destroyed or falsified, or if you have a history of failing to keep certain records.

To avoid this possibility and ensure you have enough information to complete your self-assessment, you should record your company’s assets, expenditure, purchases and sale or disposal of company assets.

If you have what you consider to be a reasonable excuse for not completing your tax return on time, you should fill in and submit a claim form as soon as possible detailing what happened.

HMRC defines a reasonable excuse as “something unexpected or outside your control”. For example: if a partner or close relative died shortly before the deadline or you had an unexpected hospital stay or a life threatening illness.

Once your reasonable excuse is resolved, you must try to complete your return or payment as soon as possible.