With just over a week left until the deadline for self-assessment tax returns, Southwest-based accountants Milsted Langdon is reminding people to get their documents filed on time.
It comes after new data released by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) revealed that young men aged between 18 and 20 were the worst offenders for sending tax returns on time, while individuals in the city of London were the most likely to file their return late.
The figures, based upon last year’s findings, also indicated that the over-65s were the most likely to get their returns in on time and that women were generally better than men.
According to HMRC’s latest data, 6.45 million returns have already been submitted ahead of the deadline at the end of the month, with another 4.5 million still outstanding.
All tax returns, whether paper or online, must include all details of taxable income and any capital gains if appropriate, as well as any tax allowances or reliefs incurred during that tax year.
Failing to file your return on time carries with it significant fines, which include an immediate fine of £100 for not submitting before the deadline. After this, penalties can quickly escalate and leaving it longer than three months could see £10 a day added to the fine, up to a maximum of £900.
The same rules apply if your return is incomplete when sent and you are found to owe tax. In this instance, you may also have to pay interest on top of any fine.
Simon Denton, Tax Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “As the research from HMRC shows, young men are the worst offenders, but regardless of your sex, age or occupation, filing a tax return is something that is best done on time.
“Although there is only around a week left to get your return in on time, it is never too late to act and while it may seem like a never-ending impossible task, it pays to get it in on time.
“If you feel unable to complete and file your return or are worried about potential errors in the return you wish to send, the best step may be to seek professional help. By speaking with an accountant you can ensure your documents are accurate and delivered on time, removing the stress and fear of fines.”
Simon added that those who continually find themselves in a panic to get their returns submitted on time should consider preparing them earlier and either sending them on paper before the October deadline or have them prepared well in advance so they can be easily uploaded online.