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Tax return deadline warning for child benefit claimants

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HMRC published a further reminder of the 31 January tax return filing deadline for taxpayers who may be liable to the new high income child benefit charge.

‘Those who have already registered [for self-assessment] must now file a return before 31 January. Those who have neither registered [for self-assessment] nor opted out [of receiving child benefit] must register online now, to enable them to send an online return by the 31 January deadline. This is because online registration can take up to seven working days to complete, as HMRC has to send an activation code in the post,’ HMRC said in a press release on 14 January.

The Observer reported that unwary taxpayers were ‘inadvertently paying to submit their tax returns’ after using ‘copycat’ websites. Some websites were misleading taxpayers through use of similar colours to the official site. It quoted an HMRC spokesperson as saying: ‘It’s important to bear in mind that we provide comprehensive help and guidance through our website and contact centres entirely free of charge.’