Last call for late tax returns before higher penalties kick in

by | Apr 30, 2024

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Taxpayers who failed to file their 2022-23 tax return in time are being encouraged to submit their late returns before 1 May when penalties switch up to £10 per day. 

Those taxpayers who are required to file a tax return and who missed the 31 January deadline may already have received a £100 fine. But the late filing penalty regime gets more severe after three months when a charge of £10 per day is applied, up to a maximum of £900. These penalties are still charged by HMRC even when there is no tax due. Then, in addition, those who are six months late have to pay a £300 penalty, or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher with a further £300 or 5% after 12 months. 

This means that if you owe tax of £600 or more and are over a year late with your tax return, penalties of up to £1,600 may be added to your bill as well as interest: late payments currently incur interest at 7.75%, the highest rate for 16 years.


According to HMRC figures there were an estimated 1.1m taxpayers who failed to meet the January deadline, a 10% rise on the previous year. The rise may have been caused, in part, by fiscal drag which has pulled more parents past the £50K level at which they have to declare and pay back some of their child benefit for the 22-23 tax year. 

Dawn Register, head of tax dispute resolution at BDO said:

“On the 1 May, the penalty regime for late filing steps up a gear and can really take people by surprise. We would encourage late filers to get their skates on in order to avoid any unnecessary penalties.


“For those struggling to pay on time, it’s also worth considering a Time to Pay arrangement. These can be easily set up online if you owe under £30,000.”

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