Hefty fines if businesses miss the tax man’s deadline

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Small businesses across Portsmouth are being urged to file their self-assessment tax returns early to avoid costly disappointment.

The deadline for filing returns is January 31.

James Self, who runs TaxAssist Accountants in North End, said: ‘Local businesses must submit their online tax returns by January 31 or face an on-the-spot penalty of £100 for filing even a day late, even if they have no tax to pay or have paid the tax they owe.

‘Filing early doesn’t mean you have to pay any tax due early, but if you are due a refund, HMRC will return this to you sooner. Make sure it’s you that earns the interest on any tax refunds, not the taxman.’

HM Revenue and Customs has introduced a £100 late-filing penalty that will not be reduced even if the tax owed was paid promptly.

Returns that are three months late will incur a penalty of £10 a day, up to a maximum of £900, and even harsher measures if more than six months late.