Understand Personal Tax Return Penalties

Published on April 12, 2022

Personal Finance

Tax Panelty HMRC gives penalties for sending in your personal tax return late or not paying your tax bill on time. Let's simplify how these fines work.

One Day Late? Here’s the cost.

The deadline for personal tax returns is January 31st each year.

Miss it by one day? That's a £100 penalty.

What if you're 3 months late?

After 3 months, they'll charge you £10 each day, up to £900.

This is in addition to the initial £100.

Going over 6 months?

After 6 months, expect another charge: either 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is more.

This adds to the penalties above.

What if it's over a year late?

Beyond 12 months, it's another 5% or £300 penalty.

Yes, that's on top of all previous fines.

Late by over 12 months? Here’s your bill.

If you're more than a year late, the fines add up like this:

  • £100 for 1 day late
  • £900 (maximum) for 3 months late
  • £300 (or 5% of the tax due) for 6 months late
  • £300 (or another 5%) for being over a year late

That's £1,600 at a minimum, but it could be more depending on your tax bill.

Late Payment Penalties

Miss the January 31st payment deadline, and you're looking at:

  • 5% of the unpaid tax after 30 days
  • Another 5% after 6 months
  • Another 5% after 12 months

What's the damage for paying over a year late?

Let's say you owe £10,000 and pay 14 months late:

You hit all three late payment milestones for a total penalty of 15%.

That's a £1,500 fine.

Combining Late Filing and Payment Penalties

Wondering what your total penalties are? HMRC's calculator can help you figure that out.

Summary on Personal Tax Penalties

The longer you wait to file or pay your taxes, the more you'll pay. It's best to act swiftly to avoid these growing penalties!