In the past HMRC has always posted reminders to taxpayers about the upcoming January deadline – reminding them to submit their tax return and also pay any tax due.

In 2015 however HMRC has started to use email, and has just begun to send out 650,000 emails to people who have not yet completed their tax return.

Leaving things until the 16th of January is rather late though, giving people less than 2 weeks to get their return up to date and pay any tax that is due. In the past these reminders would arrive earlier, giving people a month or more notice of the upcoming final deadline…

It is preferable for people to complete their return early each year, soon after 5th April, as the tax due isn’t payable any earlier but it can then be planned for months in advance rather than perhaps getting a shock with only a few days left to raise the funds.

If you know anyone who has received one of these emails then there is a very short window of opportunity to get help left now, but please do put them in touch.

For any returns outstanding on 1st February 2015 there will be a £100 fine, and further fines and interest charges will start to build up from then on. In some cases the fines can actually be more than the cost of getting professional help.