With penalties, surcharges and interest
looming for the millions of us struggling to submit our 1999/2000 tax
returns before the 31st January deadline i.e.taxguard explain what the
Inland Revenue actually means by "deadline".
Strictly, Self Assessment tax returns for
1999/2000 that were issued before 1st November 2000, must be received
by your tax office by 31st January and all tax due for the year must
have been paid by that date. If the Tax Return is late there is an
automatic penalty of up to £100, and if the tax is paid late interest
is currently charged at 8.5% per annum (calculated daily).
However, the kind-hearted people at the
Inland Revenue have again extended the deadline this year so that any
tax return on the door mat of any tax office by 7.30 am on 2nd
February 2001 will be treated as meeting the deadline. They are
expecting such a last minute rush of forms that many tax offices will
be open from 8am to 8pm from 29th to 31st January to deal with it.
As any tax you owe still has to be paid
by 31st of January, don't wait for the Inland Revenue to confirm the
amount due: it can take them months to "process" the late
rush of tax returns. Sending a cheque to the Inspector of Taxes with
your Tax Return is not good enough; the payment has to reach the
Collector of Taxes by the deadline. However, you can pay at a bank
using a cheque and giro credit or by debit card over the telephone or
Internet if you need to get the payment in quick. The Collector of
Taxes does not accept credit cards!
There are some lucky people who do not
have to meet the 31st January deadline: those who were issued with a
Tax Return after 31st October 2000. For these lucky few the deadlines
for submitting the tax return are:
2 months from issue (if you want the
Revenue to work out your tax position) or 3 months from issue if you
do the tax calculation yourself.
The tax due has to be paid within a month
of receiving the Inland Revenue's "Self Assessment" tax
calculation or within the three month period if you work out the
There is always the option of submitting
your Tax Return online, although this system has had problems in the
past. If you do send your Return via the Internet make sure that it is
not rejected (most software allows you to test for this before you
finally press the submit button). Print a copy of the acceptance
message as evidence.
However you do it, make sure that you do
get your Tax Return in, even if it is a bit late. Hector the Inspector
may have just been retired by the Inland Revenue, but his colleagues
still want your Tax Return and will not rest until they get it.