While most self-employed people these days choose to file their Self Assessments online, it’s still possible to do it the old fashioned way – through paper forms. Be warned though, HMRC must have received this by Tuesday 31st October.
If you provide a paper Self Assessment despite missing the deadline, you’ll be fined £100.
What to do if you miss the Self Assessment Paper deadline
If there are extenuating circumstances that you believe might exempt you from the £100 fine, here are some HMRC numbers that might come in handy:
Self Assessment enquiries:
0300 200 3310
0300 200 3319
+44 161 931 9070
Unless for some reason you hugely object to using technology, the best way to avoid this fine is to complete your Self Assessment online, alongside the 89% of customers completing theirs in 2016.
Paper returns are gradually being phased out, so you might as well get into some good habit. This way, you’ll also have until the 31st January to get it sorted.
The advantages of an online Self Assessment
HMRC’s system can save your progress for you, meaning you don’t have to complete your Self Assessment in one sitting. If you’re unsure about any sections, you can go away and read up on them, come back to make sure they’re done properly.
Similarly, you can go back to edit previous sections before you finally submit your Self Assessment – so there’s no need to panic if you make a mistake.
Registering to complete your Self Assessment online
If you’ve never filed a Self Assessment online before, you’ll need to create an account with HMRC Online Services. You’ll need your Unique Taxpayer Reference number – this is on the “Welcome to Self Assessment” letter (SA250) you’ll have received when you registered for Self Assessment.
You’ll also need either your postcode or your National Insurance Number.
Once registered, HMRC will send you an Activation Code. This will be sent in the post to your home address. You need to use this code to activate your Online Services account within 28 days, or you’ll have to request another one.
Once you’ve activated your Online Services account you’ll have a User ID and password, you can use these to log in to HMRC Online Services.
Avoid being left behind
Darren Fell, Crunch Founder & CEO, said “Accountancy needs technology in order to progress, innovate and grow. It’s what our business is built on and we believe that the industry and business owners themselves need to embrace it to avoid being left behind.
“Self Assessment time is a prime example, with one in ten (11%) people still submitting the paper forms last year despite the fact that they are being phased out.
“Paper assessments can be more stressful for individuals as they aren’t benefiting from the online tools that have made the process far simpler and easier to understand. We believe we have a collective responsibility to explain the opportunities and benefits that technological advancements have in accountancy practice and beyond.”