Tax return deadline is a mere week away, and that means you've only got seven days to complete your online return, submit it and pay anything you owe to HMRC – or face a penalty for filing late. A lot of people might be in a state of last-minute panic but some might not even know they need to fill in a return, with changes to the Child Benefit system last year meaning higher earners could well need to repay a hefty chunk…
The new rules meant the benefit would be withdrawn from some 1.1 million families with one earner on more than £50,000, but it was up to the families themselves to request that their payments be stopped. Failing to do so means they'd have to go through the self-assessment process to repay anything they owe for the period 7 January-5 April 2013, and this is something that thousands of families are finding themselves lumbered with.
However, there are concerns that some are still unaware that they need to file a return, so for anyone that's reading this and think they might be affected – it's time to act.
If you've yet to register for self-assessment online, you've already missed the recommended date for requesting an activation code – it can take up to ten days to arrive in the post – but that doesn't mean all is lost. Apply RIGHT NOW and you could still get it in time, and if you miss the deadline you have up to 30 days from receiving a fine notice to file a "reasonable excuse" claim form.
It isn't something you want to overlook. The initial missed deadline penalty is £100, but leave it too long and those fines (and the interest charged) can quickly escalate – after six months you could owe over £1,000, perhaps more if you've failed to even register.
So, make sure to start the process of filing your return straight away. Of course, those that aren't affected by the changes still need to make sure they file by next Friday, so this weekend could be all about getting the necessary paperwork together.
Here's a list of who needs to fill in a tax return, just in case you're unsure:
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