Traders who settle up with the taxman on paper – which a chunk of freelancers say they favour – are being urged not to delay if they want to avoid a potentially hefty fine.
In an update yesterday, HM Revenue & Customs reminded the self-employed that self-assessment returns it receives on or after Nov 1st will result in an automatic penalty of £100.
If traders still haven’t returned the form to the Revenue after a three-month probation period, they can expect to receive a fine of £10 each successive day for up to 90 days.
Once the 90 days are up, and assuming the return is still outstanding, traders will be hit with a penalty equal to either £300 or 5% of the tax due – whichever is the greater sum.
The same levy will be imposed for the most negligent self-assessors – those who still haven’t returned the form after 12 months of missing the initial deadline.
Urging offline self-assessors to file before the deadline of Oct 31st, Crunch Accounting reflected: “All this means that if a year has elapsed and no personal tax return has been received by HMRC, you will be looking at a minimum fine of £1,600.”
Self-employed people who file close to the deadline have been recommended by HMRC to obtain proof of posting, so they have evidence of when their return was sent, in the event of needing to appeal against any late-filing penalty.