Today is the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) 2017/2018 online self assessment deadline.
If you’ve left it to the last minute, it’s still possible to do it, but you need to do it now.
Rory Stoves, Personal Finance Expert at uSwitch.com, said: “If you’ve left it to the last minute to complete your self-assessment don’t bury your head in the sand.
“You have until midnight tonight to avoid a fine. Don’t put it off because it feels overwhelming.
“Grab a cuppa and pop onto HMRC’s website, at most it should take just a couple of hours to complete.
“If you’re doing it for the first time, HMRC has helpline numbers you can call if you need to query anything but be prepared for a long wait.
“Instead jump online – you’ll find really helpful information to guide you through what you need to do.
“Telling HMRC that the dog ate your tax return won’t get you anywhere unfortunately. It’s shocking how many people are fined for getting it in late – don’t throw away your cash by being one of them.”
“If you’ve left it to the last minute to complete your self-assessment don’t bury your head in the sand”
Rory Stoves – Personal Finance Expert at uSwitch.com
When is the tax return deadline?
Unfortunately, your last day to avoid getting a fine is today, January 31, 2019.
This means all the tax you owe from the tax year April 2017 to April 2018 has to be returned before midnight.
Keep in mind, even if you don’t have any tax liability you still have to fill in a tax return.
What happens if I miss the deadline?
If you manage to provide HMRC with a “reasonable excuse” you could get your deadline extended.
A reasonable excuse includes the death of a partner or family member, serious illness, fire, flood, theft or IT issues with the online services.
Although most excuses are honest and valid, HMRC do receive some bizarre ones.
Some of the strangest ons include:
• My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me
• I’m too short to reach the post box
• I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn
If not you will automatically be slapped with a £100 fine if your tax is up to three months late.
If you fail to hand it in before three months you will have to pay more later.
You will start by being fined £10 per day up to a maximum of £900,and there are further penalties at six and 12 months.
How do you complete an online self assessment?
If you haven’t filled in an online self assessment before you will need your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).
You will have to apply for this and activate your account with a code you should have received in the post.
Once you have done this you will have to prove your identity by using Government Gateway.
This is when you will need to have all the important information available, including details about your income, for example your P60 and payslips.
Interest statements from banks and building societies, details of pension contributions and Gift Aid donations also need to be provided.
You also need to check your personal details, and start filling in the section which fits your circumstances.
Once you have given all the information about what you earned over the tax year April 2017 to April 2018, tax will be calculated automatically.
If you are having issues you can call HMRC on 0300 200 3310 for advice, but be prepared to wait.