Beat the rush for online tax returns

Avoid a post Christmas rush – prepare ahead to ensure you file your tax return before the 31 January deadline

To avoid New Year stresses ensure you prepare now for filing your Self Assessment tax return online ahead of the 31 January 2012 deadline.

New to online filing

If you are filing your tax return online for the first time you should ensure you understand how to use HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) Self Assessment Online. You also need to register with HMRC well in advance of filing your Self Assessment tax return online. You should note that it can take up to seven working days for your Activation Code to be sent to you from HMRC. There is free guidance on that explains the steps you need to take to file online.

See nibusinessinfo’s guide understanding and using Self Assessment Online.

Avoid penalties by filing on time

If you miss the deadline of 31 January for Self Assessment tax returns, the longer you delay, the more you’ll have to pay. Penalties apply even if you have no tax to pay or have paid the tax you owe. For 1 day late a fixed penalty of £100 applies. A £10 penalty for each following day will apply – up to a 90 day maximum of £900. After this a £300 penalty or 5 per cent of the tax due is applied for each three month period the tax return is late.

To avoid facing a hefty penalty for late returns you should ensure you file ahead of the 31 January 2012 deadline.

You can read more on tax return penalties in nibusinessinfo’s guide on tax return deadline and penalties.