1m people miss tax self-assessment deadline

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have confirmed that 1.1million people have failed to submit their self-assessment tax returns on time and face an automatic penalty of £100.

Because of strike action the HMRC had extended the deadline for submission of self-assessment tax returns by 2 days to 2nd February. Any taxpayers who can prove they had a reasonable excuse for the delay, such as a serious illness or bereavement, may be able to avoid the £100 fine. Fines can climb to £1,600 if left unpaid, as interest starts to accumulate after 3 months. In previous years, people could avoid paying fines if they were greater than the amount of tax owed, but new rules introduced mean that anyone missing the deadline without a reasonable excuse will have to pay a fine.

The number of taxpayers missing the deadline this year has actually dropped compared to the previous 2 years - with 1.4m in 2011 and 1.6m in 2010.

If you live in Northern Ireland and require advice on income tax, self-assessment, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, or general tax planning, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9288.