Accountants urge Scots to get tax returns in to avoid penalties

French Duncan



Accountants and financial advisers French Duncan are urging Scots to get their tax returns in early to avoid penalties.

An estimated 60,000 Scots missed last year’s deadline and faced an immediate fixed penalty of £100 even if there is no tax to pay.

Across the UK almost 750,000 individuals missed the tax deadline last year with a similar number (758,000) completing their tax returns on 31st January and 30,000 of those having filed their returns in the hour before midnight.

Stephen Oates, tax director with French Duncan LLP, said: “It is all too easy to let the deadline for filing your tax return slip. Many people will be on holiday until the 7th January leaving just over three weeks to get all the necessary information collated and the forms completed.

“HMRC is more aggressive in their approach to late returns and late payments with staggered penalties the longer you leave things. Once a return is three months late daily penalties of £10 per day apply until the return is submitted or 90 days have passed. After six months there is a tax geared penalty of 5 per cent of the liability. Even if you are due to pay nothing, if the return is six months late you could be charged £1,300.”

Mr Oates said: “Everyone finds tax returns daunting, but it just takes some organisation, setting some time aside and ensuring you have all the information you need to hand. If you can’t face it seek advice. It is better to start your New Year with your tax return completed on time than face uncertainty and substantial financial penalties.”

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