Deadline for sending in your tax return is looming large

The deadline for self-assessment tax returns is rapidly approaching, with millions of people facing fines if they miss the cut-off point at the end this month.

Anyone who is required to file an online return for the tax year ending April 5, 2014, must do so by January 31 or pay a £100 penalty – even if no tax is owed.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, said: “The end of January may seem like a long way off but it will come round quicker than you think.

“Get your return done as early as possible. The earlier you start to do it, the more time you have to check that you have everything to complete it.”

He added: “HM Revenue & Customs won’t hesitate in fining you if there are mistakes in your tax return. The last thing anyone needs is a wholly-avoidable fine from the taxman – especially after the expense of Christmas.”

Changes to child benefit for higher-rate taxpayers in recent years means many more people are now required to complete self-assessment forms.

The deadline for sending paper returns by post has long gone – and if you send a paper return in now, you will be hit by the fine, even if you also complete an online return in time.

As well as the £100 penalty for late filers at the end of January, if your return is still outstanding after three months, you will be liable for further charges of £10 a day for the next 90 days.