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Warning on late tax payment penalties

Monday 9th January 2012

With the self-assessment tax return deadline only weeks away, research from unbiased.co.uk,  warns that consumers could be facing large penalties by not following the procedure correctly.

Unbiased.co.uk's TaxAction report shows taxpayers gifted the taxman an estimated £368million last year in penalties on account of late returns, miscalculations and surcharges on late payment of tax.

The report reveals that money was wasted in the following three ways:

* £116million in penalties given due to forms received after the 31 January online filing deadline;
* £236million in charges over miscalculations made on tax forms;
* £16million in surcharges for late payment of tax from previous years.

Failure to return forms to Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs before the fast-approaching online 31 January deadline will incur an automatic £100 late payment charge.  If the form is not returned by three months after the deadline, there is a penalty of £10 for each following day, up to a 90-day maximum of £900 plus the £100 penalty. If the form is not returned by 29 July 2012 there will be a further penalty of either £300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher. There are also strict penalties for late payment of tax.

Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk said: "The rules of self-assessment forms remain unforgiving for taxpayers who return their forms incorrectly or who fail to meet the deadline.

"The monetary penalties are hefty and in most cases additional surcharges are often imposed.

"In order to avoid this unnecessary waste we are urging consumers to take 'tax action' and act now."

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Mike Jones

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