Keep on top of tax or get fine

The countryside surrounding Harting Down in the South Downs National Park, in West Sussex.

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SMALL business owners across Portsmouth are being warned to keep on top of tax returns, or risk significant penalties under tough new HMRC rules.

The rules which came into force yesterday see late self-assessment taxpayers face daily fines of £10, up to a maximum of £900.

An estimated 650,000 to 850,000 self-assessment taxpayers are yet to file their annual tax returns for the 2011-12 financial year, meaning they will already have built up a £100 penalty.

Taxpayers who allow the filing delay to extend beyond six months will then be handed a further £300 fine or five per cent of the tax due.

James Self, of TaxAssist Accountants in Portsmouth said: ‘We are urging all small businesses and sole traders to make their accounts top priority. Snowballing fines can be deadly for a small business, so balancing the books can make all the difference.’