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25 June 2003

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Lost on Penalties?



As another World Cup disappears over the horizon, England supporters console themselves with the thought that they lost to the better team and it was only because of a fluke goal by Ronaldinho. Somehow, it was not as painful as when Chris Waddle ballooned his penalty over the bar in Turin to ensure England's exit from Italia 90 and send Germany into the final (which, incidentally, they won against Argentina.)

Well, unless you are German, you probably will not want to experience that Turin feeling again (although David Batty made sure that we didn't forget it in France 98!)

In the Self Assessment tax system, 31st July is a significant date. It is one of the Inland Revenue's key tax collection dates and a second deadline for the submission of tax returns. Failure to meet it by those affected will lead to penalties and, this time, there can only be one winner!

Higher rate taxpayers with investment income, the self-employed, those with rental income and many others with income not taxed at source are likely to have to make payments on account of their tax liability for 2001/02. The first of these was due on 31st January 2002 and the second is due on 31st July. Tax paid late will be charged interest (currently 6.5% p.a.)

Others who will be more severely punished for missing this deadline are those who have not submitted their tax return or paid their tax for 2000/01. The return for that year had to be submitted by 31st January 2002 and all tax for the year had to be paid by that date. Failure to submit the return will already have led to a 100 penalty. A further 100 will be charged on 31st July. Furthermore, if you still owe tax for 2000/01, not only will interest be running but a 5% surcharge would have been added on 28th February and a further 5% will be added on 31st July.

If the Inland Revenue become really upset with you because of delays in submitting your tax return they can charge you penalties of 60 a day. If this does not stir you into action and you continue to delay the submission of your tax return beyond 31st January 2003, the Inland Revenue can charge a further penalty of an amount equal to the tax that would have been payable under the return.

There is nothing to be gained by delays. Finish the game in normal time. Do not play for extra time or penalties. You will always lose. If you are too busy to keep your tax affairs up to date or you just cannot cope with all the forms and deadlines, maybe it is time to consider seeking some professional assistance. It's a bit like getting David Beckham to take your penalties for you.

For further information please call: 0800 975 9010 or www.ie.taxguard.co.uk

July 2002

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