1/31/2006

Self assessment tax deadline day

Midnight tonight marks the deadline for self assessment taxpayers to file their returns, and avoid a £100 penalty for missing the 31 January deadline.

Almost 10 million self assessment tax returns were issued in 2004/05 - but last year almost a million taxpayers were late filing their returns.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) ran a campaign to encourage more people to file before midnight on 31 January and pay any tax they owe. Late returns carry a £100 penalty and interest is charged on any outstanding tax.

Director of Self Assessment at HM Revenue & Customs Roy Massingale said: "We really don't want people to have to pay a penalty. I urge everyone to get their tax return to us before the deadline."

Customers already registered for HMRC's online service can file right up to the midnight deadline on January 31 at www.hmrc.gov.uk.

A surcharge of 5% is applied to any tax still outstanding after 28 days. A further penalty of £100 is due if your return still hasn't been filed by 31 July. Daily penalties of up to £60 can also be applied to persistent non-filers.

HMRC issued 9.8 million self assessment returns in 2004/05, and 998,000 penalty notices were issued to taxpayers who failed to meet the deadline last tax year.

Introduced in 1997, self assessment applies to the self-employed, company directors, partners, higher-rate taxpayers, or people who otherwise have complicated tax affairs.

(SP/KMcA)

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