How To Avoid Late Filing Penalties – Self Assessment Tax Return

Many business owners will know that there are a few deadlines they face when running their own business. The most infamous deadline being their Self Assessment Tax Return.

The deadline for this is almost invariably 31st January of the year following the tax year, so the deadline for the 16-17 tax year is 31st January 2018 (there is a 31st October deadline for those filing using the old paper/ postal system but very few clients and businesses do this now).

This deadline hasn’t changed in years and if you file late you risk avoidable fines and penalties.

Late filing Penalties- As soon as your return is late, there is an automatic fine of £100 triggered against your account. After this, there are daily penalties imposed.


We’ve come up with a simply yet effective guide to avoid those late filing penalties:

How to avoid a self-assessment penalty

  1. Make a note of the deadlines in the first place. You must submit your tax return by the 31st January following the tax year in question. This is also the deadline by which any tax liabilities must reach HMRC, i.e. the funds must be in the HMRC bank account by close of play.

  2. Keep accurate records during the year, and don’t leave things to the last minute. Paperwork to gather includes; your P60, P11D, bank statements, details of child benefits received, money received from extra business activities (e.g. selling items on eBay), and income from investments and property.

  3. Take great care including all sources of income received during the tax year, as you could face further measures if errors are found within your submission. Ask your accountant if you’re unsure what you need to include on the return.

  4. Don’t forget that you are ultimately responsible for submitting your SATR on time, not your accountant, so keep tabs on the progress of your return if you aren’t submitting it personally – don’t be afraid to chase your accountant.

  5. If you’re not happy with the pro-activity of your current accountant, don’t be afraid to switch! You will be surprised by the number of new clients who have switched to us because of the apparent tardiness of their ex-accountant!


If you would like to discuss your finances in more detail or want some practical advice on how to handle them, get in touch with us today! Call Polly or Steve on 01733 699033

LeeP Accountants

Helping you keep more of your money