News story

Tax return deadline just days away

If you’re one of the 2.8 million people who still haven’t filed their 2012 to 2013 tax return, you’ve only got until midnight on Friday to do it online and pay what you owe.

Returns received by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after 31 January will result in a £100 late-filing penalty – even if you have no tax to pay, or you pay your tax on time.

The more you delay, the more you pay, as you’ll be hit with further late-filing penalties after 3, 6 and 12 months.

Recent research by HMRC showed that taxpayers in central London were more likely to file their return late than people in any other part of the country, with 1 in 9 (11%) failing to beat the deadline. This compared with only 1 in 17 late filers (6%) in the South West of England – the most punctual region for tax returns.

You can file your tax return for free via HMRC’s website at Using a search engine to find HMRC’s online filing web pages can produce results which include third party websites that charge to file on your behalf. Therefore, if you want to file for free, type the HMRC website address into your internet browser.

HMRC’s Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said:

There’s not much time left, so make a start on your tax return today. Leave it too late, and you’ll be hit with a penalty.

A short question and answer video featuring Ruth Owen can be viewed on YouTube at

For general help and advice on completing a return, visit or call the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8.00am to 8.00pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday).

Published 27 January 2014