31 October is key date in changes to tax return deadlines

Most people are unaware there is a new deadline for paper-based tax returns this year, according to Mark Bridge, partner at top twenty accountancy firm, Kingston Smith LLP in St Albans. As of this year, paper-based self assessment tax returns must be submitted to HMRC by 31 October. Online returns can still be submitted until 31 January but those who submit a paper return during this period could face a £100 penalty.

Mark Bridge comments, “4.5 million people filed their tax returns on paper last year – so it is important that people are aware of the new deadline and avoid incurring unnecessary fines. Previous submission dates had been in place for over a decade and are firmly fixed in most people’s minds. Previously, both paper and online self assessment tax returns had to be filed by 31 January but those submitting paper returns who wished HMRC to calculate their tax had to do so by the end of September.

“The new October deadline means that people who submit paper returns have an extra month in which HMRC will calculate their tax. On the flip side, however, those who do not wish to file their return online have to submit their self assessment tax returns three months earlier than the previous 31 January deadline.  With over nine million self assessment tax returns issued every year, the new deadline marks a significant change.”

For further information on tax return legislation or advice on completing a self assessment tax return, please contact Kingston Smith on 01727 896000 or visit www.kingstonsmith.co.uk.