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HMRC urges paper tax return filers to ‘act now’

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HMRC issued a further reminder last week that penalties for late filing of self assessment tax returns are changing.

‘If you send in a paper tax return on or after 1 November, you will now be hit with a £100 penalty – even if there is no tax to pay or the tax due is paid on time,’ HMRC said.

Further late-filing penalties will apply after three months, six months and 12 months, as Tax Journal reported on 19 September.

‘So, you’ll need to act now if you want to send in a paper return and avoid a late-filing penalty,’ HMRC added.

‘If you can’t send your paper return by 31 October, you can still avoid a penalty by sending your tax return online instead. However, if you do send a paper return after the 31 October deadline, you cannot avoid the initial £100 penalty by subsequently filing online.’

The CIOT’s Low Incomes Tax Reform Group has published detailed guidance, including an overview of 2010/11 deadlines and penalties for paper and online returns respectively.

HMRC issued just over 10m self assessment returns or notices to file for 2010/11. About 6.9m taxpayers filed their 2009/10 return ‘online and on time’.