Act now to avoid further self-assessment penalties

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Contractors and self-employed professionals who have not yet completed their 2013-14 tax return are being urged to do so immediately to avoid the threat of further penalties.

Taxpayers who have already been hit with an “unfair” fine of £100 for missing the January 31st deadline face a further daily charge if they do not act before April 30th. This leaves them just seven days to get their house in order.

HMRC estimates that as many as 890,000 people failed to meet January’s deadline, allowing the Revenue to rake in £89 million in penalties.

The additional daily fines of £10 apply up to a maximum of £900. This means that in total, errant taxpayers could face an eye-watering £1,000 bill for continued non-compliance.

If the return is still not completed after six months, the taxman will ramp up its penalties even further. This time delinquent payers will face a fine amounting to 5% of the total tax due or £300, whichever is greater. The same charge is repeated again after 12 months.

Richard Murray, ClearSky’s head of operations, urged taxpayers to act now to avoid mounting penalties. He said: “It is essential that independent professionals fill out their tax returns as soon as possible if they want to get themselves out of HMRC’s bad books.

“I would urge taxpayers who missed January’s deadline to avoid making the same mistake next year by seeking specialist help to ensure their obligations are taken care of on time.”

Have your say

Are you a contractor or self-employed professional? Did you miss the January deadline? What were your reasons for this? What actions will you take to make sure the same mistake is not repeated? Join in the discussion on Twitter, or leave a comment below.