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Guidance on late-filing penalties and enquiry time limits

Self Assessment tax returns: 31 October paper filing deadline -
Guidance on late-filing penalties and enquiry time limits

Date: 27 October 2008

The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have published the following and enquiry time limits for self assessment returns.

Any paper returns for 2007-08 received up until the end of Friday 31 October 2008 will not incur a late-filing penalty. This means that:

  • Unless the notice to deliver a return was given after 31 July 2008, paper (non-electronic) returns for 2007-08 must be delivered on or before Friday 31 October 2008. Customers unable to meet the 31 October deadline still have until 31 January 2009 to deliver an electronic return.

  • Paper returns delivered before midnight on Friday 31 October are on time.

  • Returns delivered by hand and found in an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) office letter box when first opened on Monday 3 November will be treated as delivered on Friday 31 October for all purposes. They will not attract a non-filing penalty and HMRC cannot give a notice of enquiry after 31 October 2009.

  • Returns delivered by hand on Monday 3 November after the relevant office has opened will not attract a non-filing penalty. The date of delivery will be Monday 3 November which means that HMRC can give a notice of enquiry up to and including 31 January 2010.

  • Returns delivered by hand and found in an HMRC office letter box when first opened on Tuesday 4 November will be treated as delivered on Monday 3 November and will not attract a non-filing penalty. The date of delivery means that HMRC can give a notice of enquiry up to and including 31 January 2010.

  • Returns delivered by hand on Tuesday 4 November after the relevant office has opened are delivered on the day of receipt and will attract a non-filing penalty. HMRC can give a notice of enquiry up to and including 31 January 2010.

  • Returns received by post on Monday 3 November or Tuesday 4 November are delivered on the day of receipt and will attract a non-filing penalty. HMRC can give a notice of enquiry up to and including 31 January 2010.

  • A late filing penalty incurred for filing a paper return after 31 October as above cannot be mitigated by subsequently filing an online return before 31 January.

  • There are some scenarios in which a return cannot be filed online (eg returns for Trustees of Registered Pension Schemes and Non-Resident Companies). Where a return cannot be filed online a paper return delivered after 31 October, but on or before 31 January, will be treated as delivered on time. This means that the return will not attract a penalty for failing to file on time. HMRC will be able to issue a notice of enquiry up to the end of the period of 12 months after the day on which the return was delivered.

  • Where the notice to file a return was issued after 31 July, the deadline for filing a paper return will be 3 months after the date the notice was issued and the deadline for an online return will be the later of 3 months after the notice was issued, or 31 January.

Andica provides software for preparation, calculation of tax and submission of online filing of tax returns for Individuals SA100 and all supplementary forms and for Partnership business SA800 and all supplementary forms.

For further information please contact us on 0845 643 6500.


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