It is predicted that thousands of taxpayers have missed the deadline for filing self-assessment tax returns, with Revenue due to impose penalties of 5 to 10% on those taxpayers who have missed the November 14th deadline, according to Taxback.com.
In the last five years over 110,000 people have joined the self-assessed category, for various different reasons, leading to an increase in errors and delays in submissions.
Charges increase from 5% of the amount of tax due to 10% of the tax due if the return is filed more than two months after the deadline i.e after December 31st.
Failure to deliver a tax return or knowingly delivering an incorrect return after this date can result in hefty fines of up to for €5,000 or, in certain cases, imprisonment.
Taxback.com have outlined three easy steps in order to help those in the self-assessed sector to get started on their tax returns:
1. Consider all your sources of income. If you have income that was not subject to PAYE or DIRT, it is likely you’ll need to declare it via your tax return. You should contact Revenue to see whether you need to register as self-assessed.
2. Consider what deductions may be available. If you have rental income, are you claiming all your deductions for capital allowances and expenses?
3. Consider whether you can claim any other reliefs or credits, such as for medical expenses.
Eileen Devereux, Commercial Director at Taxback.com, says the best way to deal with a late submission is to address it as soon as possible.
“Every single year there are hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of people who fail to prepare for their tax return in time. Some people are simply just bad at paper work and administration, whereas others find themselves in the more precarious predicament of not being in a financial position to pay what’s owed,” Devereaux explains.
“We are calling on people who fall into either category – or somewhere in between – to take action now because early action is than no action at all – even if you have missed a deadline”.
According to Devereux, “In 2017, Revenue prosecutions resulted in court fines totalling €2.44 million in 911 summary cases, 732 civil penalties for non-filing of returns totalling €2.92 million and 24 criminal convictions for serious tax and customs fraud.”
The sooner a tax return is filed the less interest will be accrued on the bill.
Taxback also highlights that a tax return can be filed and/or corrected at anytime and urges taxpayers to correct any error that may have been made.
“If you become aware of an error or omission it is your responsibility to self-correct,” Devereux adds.
“Revenue can reopen any previous year where either fraud or error is suspected. In our experience, people are not aware that both the penalty and interest can increase if the taxpayer continues to delay filing their tax return”.