Self Assessment Penalties

How RIFT Accounting Can Help

You've got two major deadlines to hit for your self assessment as a business owner here. First, you'll need to get your return submitted to HMRC on time, then you've got a set deadline for paying the tax you owe. We can certainly get your return filed correctly for you, but if you're having trouble paying the tax we may be able to arrange for an extension of the deadline or permission to pay in instalments.

If you don't pay up on time, and don't have some kind of arrangement with HMRC about it, you can expect to be charged interest on the outstanding amount, and possibly a penalty or surcharge on top! If you're in that situation and don't have someone acting as your agent, you should get in touch with HMRC as quickly as possible. If you think you're being charged either too much or too little, again, contact HMRC immediately. If nothing else, you may be able to avoid "enforcement action", such as collection through your earnings or pension, or via a collection agency. If you don't act quickly, you might find yourself being chased through the court system, being declared bankrupt or even having your business closed altogether. Seriously, before you ever reach that point either you or your agent really needs to be talking to HMRC.

An important point about Self Assessment is that it doesn't just apply to the self-employed. You also have to file a return in a number of other circumstances, for example if you're:

  • A Partner in a business.
  • A Company Director.
  • Receiving any untaxed income, like rent.
  • A high-income household receiving Child Benefit.
  • Receiving foreign income.

The fines and penalties for late filing start painfully and scale up to agonising if you don't take swift action, even if you don't actually owe them anything. For instance, you might get slapped with a £100 fine for filing even a single day late, while delaying longer could see you stacking up £900 in penalties over three months - and it just gets worse from there! In the same way, late payment of the tax you owe is definitely something you want to avoid.

Accurate bookkeeping is the key here. You have to keep records dating back 22 months after the end of the tax year. The self-employed and those with income from letting out a property have to keep records for five years and ten months. Without that paperwork, you could be looking at a fine of up to £3000 for each year without records!

With RIFT Accounting acting on your behalf, things get a lot simpler and safer. Your returns will always be correct and on time and, if you're already facing penalties, we can still get involved on your behalf to discuss reductions if appropriate,  or organise a payment plan or make an appeal.

We know it can be frightening stuff, but the more quickly you can respond to HRMC the better. We're here to help you do that.

Call us on 01233 653006 and see how we can help you today.

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