Advice about submitting late tax returns

Gemma Newstead
Gemma Newstead

I have just realised I need to complete a tax return for the 2017/18 tax year and I am worried that it might be submitted late. Mrs N from Bexhill asks where does she stand?


The main point to note is that there are separate penalties for submitting a late tax return and for the late payment of tax. If you are late in submitting a return and in paying the tax due, you will be liable for penalties and charges for both.

The deadline for submitting your tax return for the year ended 5 April 2018 to H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is 31 January 2019.

A penalty of £100 will be applied automatically by HMRC regardless of whether you have a tax liability or not. If your return is not submitted by 1 May 2019, HMRC will also apply daily penalties of £10 per day for each day that the return is late, up to a maximum of £900.

After this, HMRC will apply a fine of £300 or a 5% charge, whichever is greater, once the return is six months late. Another charge will also be applied of 5% or £300, whichever is greater, if the return is 12 months late.

If you are in a partnership and the partnership tax return is late, all partners can be charged a penalty.

Additionally, HMRC will charge interest on amounts owing at a rate of 3.25% and a further 5% penalty for tax not paid by 28 February. The same will apply for tax still outstanding which is six months late and 12 months late.

It is also important to note that if you submit a tax return that is incorrect and if HMRC feel that you were either careless or misleading them in the amount of tax that you owe, they can charge a further penalty of between 30% and 70% of the tax outstanding. In cases of deliberately concealing and misleading HMRC, the penalty can rise to 100% of the tax owed.

Getting proper advice from a tax adviser is essential if you have any queries.

If you would like to discuss your personal tax position, Ashdown Hurrey can advise on this in addition to other tax, accountancy and business matters. Please contact Gemma Newstead on 01424 720222 or email her at