The deadline for filing your 2014/15 self assessment return online is 31 January 2016. The deadline for filing a paper return was 31 October 2015, so if you have not already filed your 2014/15 self assessment return then it will need to be filed online.
Any returns that are filed late will be subject to an initial automatic penalty of £100. This penalty is levied even where no tax is actually due to be paid. Please note that after 3 months there are additional penalties of £10 per day (up to a maximum of £900), after 6 months there is an additional penalty of 5% of the tax due (which is a minimum penalty of £300) and after 12 months there is an additional penalty of 5% of the tax due (which is a minimum penalty of £300). Hence if you ignore the self assessment deadline this could have serious financial implications!
If you choose to file your own self assessment return online you need to first register with HMRC to obtain online access to the HMRC website, before you are able to file your return. Alternatively you can engage an accountant to file your self assessment return and they will use their agent login to file the return for you. They will of course need your Unique Tax Reference number (UTR).
If you have a tax liability for 2014/15 this is also due by 31 January 2016. Furthermore, if your 2014/15 tax liability is above £1,000 you may also need to make a payment on account towards your 2015/16 tax liability, with a further payment on account being due on 31 July 2016.
Should you have reason to believe that your 2015/16 tax liability will be lower than your tax liability for 2014/15 then you may need to consider reducing your 2015/16 payments on account but please note that if you reduce them too far then HMRC will charge interest on the difference. We recommend that you take professional advice on this.
It is also very important that you contact HMRC before 31 January 2016 if you can’t afford to pay all of the tax which falls due on that date, so that you can try to arrange an affordable payment plan. Always make sure that you file your self assessment return by the due date, even if you can’t afford to pay the tax due. At least this will prevent any late filing penalties being imposed.
If you need assistance in filing your self assessment return please do not hesitate to contact us.