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What does a tax deadline mean to you?

With penalties, surcharges and interest looming for the millions of us struggling to submit our 2000/01 tax returns before the 31st January deadline, now is a good time to look at what the Inland Revenue actually mean by "deadline".

Strictly, Self Assessment tax returns for 2000/01 that were issued before 1st November 2001, must be received by your tax office by 31st January 2002 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 6.50 % per annum (calculated daily).

However, the kind-hearted people at the Inland Revenue have again extended the deadline this year. Any tax return found in an Inland Revenue office letterbox when they open on Saturday 2nd February 2002 will be treated as meeting the deadline. However, in strictness, returns received, or assumed to have been received, on 1st February 2002 are late. Consequently, the deadline for the Inland Revenue to raise an enquiry is extended from 31st January 2003 to 30th April 2003.

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 months for them 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 Post Office, by Bank Giro or by posting a cheque. Remember to quote your unique taxpayer reference. You can also pay by Internet using a debit card or over the telephone (0845 305 1000) using a debit card. 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 2001. 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 figure yourself.

There is always the option of submitting your Tax Return online, if your affairs are of a basic nature to click here to go to our online tax return service or if you think your affairs may be of a more complex nature click here to go establish which of our services would best suit your needs. But do hurry time is getting short to beat the deadline for help contact i.e.taxguard on 0800 9759010.

However you do it, make sure that you do get your Tax Return in, even if it is a bit late. The Inland Revenue want it and will not rest until they get it!

January 2002




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