700,000 people missed the self-assessment tax deadline – facing the prospect of racking up hundreds of pounds worth of fines new research suggests.
Their stats revealed that almost 12 per cent, equating to one-in-nine of the 11.5 million people who must complete a self-assessment form, left it to the last 48 hours before the January 31 deadline, whilst thousands, literally left it to the last minute.
“If you missed the deadline, our advice is don’t panic. There’s no real way of avoiding the £100 fine but if you file ASAP, you can avoid further financial penalties which can rack up into hundreds of pounds or five per cent of what your taxable income is – whichever is the greater,” said GoSimpleTax Technical Director Mike Parkes.
People who file late get a £100 fine, even if they don’t owe any tax. Those who do not file for a further 90 days get fined £10 per day. After this, they will be fined £300 or five per cent of the tax owed – whichever is the higher amount.
In good news for those who have yet to file, those who use apps like the GoSimpleTax software save an additional £355 per person by claiming expenses that many forget about when they file directly to HRMC (based on those that pay tax at the basic rate of 20 per cent).
They found that the most common expenses people fail to claim for correctly are fuel, phone costs, car servicing, car insurance and use of a home office.
People who don’t know or forget about fuel expenses miss out on claiming an average of £600 year, those that leave phone costs out of their claim lose an average of £450, and those that forget to claim for car servicing, car insurance and the use of a home office neglect to claim around £303, £216 and £208 respectively.