Submit paper tax returns by end of October or prepare to pay a £100 penalty

People who have to complete a 2013/14 tax return are warned that paper returns received after 31st October 2014 will result in a £100 penalty.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said they can issue the £100 late-filing penalty even if you have no tax to pay, or you pay your tax on time. The more you delay sending in your paper return, the more you could pay, as there are further penalties after three, six and 12 months.

For instance, after three months, you have to pay additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900.  After six months, you have to pay a further penalty of five per cent of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and after 12 months, another five per cent or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

There is however, a simply way of avoiding the £100 penalty. If you’re not able to submit a paper return by the end of the month, you can send your return online by 31st January 2014.

It is in fact advantageous to send your return online. Apart from having an extra three months to send your return, filing online means your tax is calculated automatically and your return is processed faster. This means any tax refund you’re due is repaid more quickly.

Registering for online filing is easy – visit the GOV.UK website at and follow the instructions.

Whichever way you choose to submit your return, the deadline for paying any tax you owe is 31st January 2014.

Help and advice on filing your return is available from the GOV.UK website at or from the Self-Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturday).

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