HMRC have reported that a record 9.61 million UK tax payers completed their self assessment tax return on time this year.
There are 10.34 million people required to complete a Self Assessment tax return for the 2011-12 year, which means 92.9 per cent met the tax return deadline of the 31 January online and 31 October for paper tax returns.
Most people submitted their returns online with 7.93 million filling them in this way, with 1.68 million filing on a paper tax return.
Not surprisingly the day in which the most returns were submitted was on deadline day – 31 January when HMRC received 578,000 with 12 returns per second being received at some points in the day.
Last year, taxpayers faced an estimated £368 million in fines due to late returns, incorrectly filled in forms and surcharges for late payment of tax from previous years.
Unbiased.co.uk’s TaxAction report shows taxpayers gifted the taxman an estimated £368 million last year in penalties on account of late returns, miscalculations and surcharges on late payment of tax.
The report reveals that money was wasted in the following three ways:
- £116 million in penalties given due to forms received after the 31 January online filing deadline
- £236 million in charges over miscalculations made on tax forms
- £16 million in surcharges for late payment of tax from previous years
Failure to return forms to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) before the 31 January deadline will incur an automatic £100 late payment charge. If the form is not returned by three months after the deadline, there is a penalty of £10 for each following day, up to a 90 day maximum of £900 plus the £100 penalty. If the form is not returned by 29 July 2012 there will be a further penalty of either £300 or 5 per cent of the tax due, whichever is the higher. There are also strict penalties for late payment of tax.
Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk commented: “The rules of self-assessment forms remain unforgiving for taxpayers who return their forms incorrectly or who fail to meet the deadline. The monetary penalties are hefty and in most cases additional surcharges are often imposed. In order to avoid this unnecessary waste we are urging consumers to take ‘tax action’ and act now. You can consult an accountant for tax advice, and to ensure you’re managing your personal finances as tax efficiently as possible, an independent financial adviser can offer invaluable help.