Okay, so something went wrong and you missed your Self Assessment deadline filing date of 31st Jan. Maybe it was illness, or maybe you didn't realise you had to file. Perhaps you don't owe any tax and thought it didn't matter. The main thing to remember right now is this: The taxman doesn't care why you stood him up.

Automatic Fines

Whatever the reason, missing that 31st of January online filing date is bad news. By the 1st of February, you've already been landed with a £100 fine. You won't be seeing that money again, even if it turns out you don't owe anything.

It only gets worse from there. Three months later you'll be racking up fines of £10 per day, up to £900 in total. After six months there's another £300 fine on top, or 5% of the tax you owe if that's greater. Six months after that you get the same again!

Pretty scary stuff, we know. HMRC take this kind of thing very seriously, and it's really not a good move to test their patience. Under extreme circumstances, you might get lucky and convince them that it honestly wasn't your fault - but don't make the mistake of counting on that. Holding off from filing your return because you're worried about the size of the bill is understandable, but it's not an excuse.
Reasons For Not Filing Self Assessment On Time

The good news is that RIFT has a great relationship with HMRC, and we know their rules and regulations inside out. If you've got a genuine reason for not filing (you're working PAYE with no other income, for example), let us know the moment the taxman starts asking for a return. Don't just assume it's their mistake and ignore it. If HMRC has got it wrong, we'll be able to set them straight.

Arranging To Pay HMRC

If you can't afford to pay the whole bill outright, again, send up a flare and we'll ride out to the rescue. We'll look into agreeing a payment plan you can stick to without stretching your money too thin. You'll still have to pay up on time, but it's better than a knock from a Debt Collection Agency.

Reducing Your Tax Bill

The other thing to remember is that you might be able to reduce that tax bill. If you haven't worked out all your expenses correctly, you might be paying too much. You can claim back tax overpaid for up to four years, so having RIFT on your side could be a major boost. Even all your refund does in the first year is clear your fines for you, it's better than having to give even more to HMRC.

As with all tax problems, the first thing to do is let us know you need help. Pick up the phone, or email RIFT. We're UK's leading tax rebate and tax return experts so there's no one better to have in your corner when battling HMRC.