Thousands face £100 fine as tax deadline looms

Those who want to submit a paper version of their self-assessment tax return for the 2011-12 tax year, must get it to the Revenue before the start of next month, reports This is Money.

If they miss the deadline, and do not then submit a return online, there is an automatic £100 penalty, even if they owe nothing.

Those planning to file online have until the end of January to submit their return.
More than 10.5million returns are due to be completed this year. About three-quarters were submitted online last year, but this still leaves more than two million who use paper returns.

These include older people without internet access. There are also some specialist groups of taxpayers, such as those with income from trusts or ministers of religion, who cannot use the Revenue’s free system to file online.

They either have to buy special tax software or stick to paper returns.

About 850,000 taxpayers faced penalties earlier this year after missing the last set of filing deadlines for the 2010-11 tax year.

Anita Monteith of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales says anyone who has yet to start thinking about completing a paper tax return must act now. ‘The £100 fine will come as a shock if you are not organised,’ she says.