What Happens If You Don’t File Your Self- Assessment Tax Return?

Tax accountant London
If a business does not comply to the self-assessment tax return requirements and fails to meet the submission deadline, a business can suffer from serious fines and/or penalties.

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When Can HMRC Give Penalties?

  • If a business pays tax after the deadline.
  • If a business is not truthful regarding its tax liability.
  • If an error has occurred in calculating the tax liability, e.g., it is understated.

To minimise the penalty, a business should contact HMRC immediately if they realise a mistake has occurred.

Penalties Charged For Late Submissions:

  • £100 if a business submits tax return late.


  • £10 is charged per day, if the business fails to pay within 3 months.


  • If the tax return is 6 months late, then the business is charged a penalty of the figure which is higher compared to £300 and 5% of the tax return.

Interest Charged for Late Payments:

If the payment is made 30 days late, then the amount of interest charged is 5% of the tax liability.

If the payment is made 6 months late, then the amount of interest charged is a further 5% of the tax liability.

If the payment is made 12 months late, then the amount of interest charged is a further 5% of the tax liability.

If a Business Makes an Error, the Amount of Penalty Depends Upon:

  • HMRC assessment of the situation.


  • Whether the business had told HMRC about the error.


  • Amount of tax which has been underpaid.

How to Minimise Tax If an Error Has Been made

There are a a few steps your must take if an error has been made while filing your self-assessment tax return:

  • Inform HMRC.


  • Assist HMRC in calculating the amount of tax due.


  • Inform HMRC of the information easing their ability to assess the tax due

What Should You Do If Your Business Has Estimated Figures?

If a business has estimated figures then it’s important to disclose the reason they were used. If the business has made a tax return and then receives the correct figure, it’s important to make changes to the tax return immediately.  This can be done by either contacting HMRC directly or correcting the information on your personal tax account.

HMRC Special Reduction:

HMRC can often reduce the penalty if they assess that the taxpayer has made a mistake carelessly rather than being deliberate.

Penalties Relating to Other Countries

If a taxpayer states the wrong income they earned from other countries, then the amount of penalty the business has to pay depends upon the country.


If a taxpayer thinks that the decision taken by HMRC is wrong, they are able to appeal against the decision. The taxpayer is required to make the appeal within 30 days of the decision.

Overall, the blog has considered the result of omitting true taxable income, and the penalties charged on late payments.

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