What happens if I file my tax returns late because of a hectic Christmas?

Question: Owning of a small firm, Christmas and New Year are always hectic, so getting my tax return done on time is often at the bottom of my to-do list.

I heard there have been changes to the penalties; what would happen if I now filed late?

Jim Andrews of TaxAssist Accountants

Answer: Even though Christmas and New Year can be one of the busiest periods, the deadline should be taken seriously.

If you are late filing your return, you will be hit by an automatic fixed penalty of £100, even if you have no tax to pay or have paid the tax you owe. And the longer you leave it, the higher those fines will get.

For instance, if you ignore it for three months, another £10 a day will be added to the £100 up to the maximum of £900. After another six months, a further £300 or 5% of the tax due will be imposed, whichever is the higher figure.

After 12 months, another £300 or 5% penalty will be added and, in very serious cases, this could even be 100% of the tax. So unless you want to lose your hard-earned income to the taxman, it really isn’t worth missing the deadline if you can help it.

Source: belfasttelegraph.co.uk