Deadline is here for first online self-assessment

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ANYONE who intends to fill in a tax self-assessment form online needs to register now to avoid a fine.

HM Revenue & Customs says the registration needs to be done by the end of tomorrow or those hoping to fill in an online tax return might not be able to meet the deadline.

Tax returns for 2010/2011 must be returned online to HMRC by January 31 – but to file for the first time an activation code needs to be sent by post well ahead of that deadline.

If HMRC receives a tax return after January 31, it will issue a £100 fine regardless of whether any tax is owing.

And the longer the delay, the more there is to pay.

James Self, who runs TaxAssist in Portsmouth, said: ‘Local businesses in Portsmouth know how tough it is out there and the climate is unlikely to change any time soon.

‘Anything they can do in 2012 to protect their hard-earned income, by avoiding penalties from the taxman and claiming everything they’re entitled to, is absolutely vital.’

To register for online self assessment, see hmrc.gov.uk/online