For those who have not yet submitted a 2018 tax return, they would normally have already received a reminder letter from HMRC along with a £100 fine.

This would have reminded them about the late tax return, as well as hopefully prevent them becoming liable to extra penalties.

However, HMRC has advised that the usual February reminder letters are not being issued this year… in some cases the reminders won’t be received until April.

Because of this, people are likely to fall foul of three additional costs:

  1. The 5% surcharge on unpaid tax. Where tax is unpaid at the end of February, there is an additional 5% added on top as a penalty. If people have yet to submit a return then they will not know if they owe any tax.
  2. Interest on unpaid tax. The 2018 tax should have been paid by 31st January 2019. Interest charges are already accumulating on any tax liabilities that people may be unaware about.
  3. Daily penalties. With a February reminder, affairs can be brought up to date before the second wave of fines start in May. These are daily amounts of £10 and can build up to £900 if the return is still outstanding after three months. Not receiving a reminder until late April means only a few days before the daily penalties start.

It is therefore important that anyone who has still not submitted a 2018 tax return does so as soon as possible – without waiting for a HMRC reminder to arrive. Otherwise they could find their liabilities increased significantly.