Self-assessment taxpayers who are not up-to-date on their tax returns should take advantage of a new campaign from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) called the Tax Return Initiative, says Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax at ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).
Mr Roy-Chowdhury explains: 'This is a good scheme from HMRC. It’s a new initiative which aims to give self-assessors the chance to get their tax affairs organised and to pay the tax they owe HMRC. If self-assessors have received a tax demand for 2009–10 or earlier and they haven’t made a return, then they need to opt into this new scheme and let HMRC know that they intend to take part.'
HMRC says that to take part in their Tax Return Initiative self-assessors will need to complete an online form and send it to HMRC either online or by post. They then need to complete and submit their late tax return with a payment of what is owed – tax and national insurance contributions - or indeed claim any repayment that might be due. The deadline is 2 October 2012.
Chas Roy Chowdhury concludes: 'HMRC is essentially reminding late payers that they need to make a return and they need to make a payment. Late returns attract a penalty charge of £100 for the relevant tax year, plus another £100 for returns that are still outstanding six months later. The tax owed also attracts interest charges and other surcharges, so it makes sense to be on time and meet the tax deadlines.
'HMRC also says that payment terms can be organised if someone cannot afford to pay what they owe all at once.'
- Further details about the HMRC campaign can be found via the 'Related Links' section, left of this article