HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) recently released figures in respect of the 2014 tax returns, highlighting such statistics as:
- 11.13 million tax returns issued
- 4.28 million filed in January alone
- 890,000 tax returns not filed before the deadline
The final figure is quite eye catching. Each will be issued with a late filing penalty of £100 (which will rise further if the return continues to be unfiled, see here).
Most of the time, a tax return is issued for a specific reason, such as the taxpayer being self employed. It used to be the case that, if HMRC issued a tax return, it had to be completed, even if it was nil. However, HMRC have become a bit more accommodating over the last couple of years. If you’ve been issued with a tax return and one is not required, you can ask for it to be cancelled.
To give an example; if you have a buy to let property, then you must complete a tax return. If that property is then sold, then you will no longer have property income and should not have to complete a tax return. However, HMRC may still issue returns. If that is the case, then you can tell HMRC that there’s no reason for you to complete a tax return.
However, our advice as always is: if you’ve received a tax return, deal with it sooner rather than later. It’s a lot less hassle and causes less anxiety getting the return cancelled before the deadline date rather than waiting for a late filing penalty to land on your doormat.