HM Revenue and Customs
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Don’t send your tax return on paper

Don’t send your tax return on paper

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 01 November 2011

If you haven’t sent in your 2010/11 Self Assessment return, you now must send it online if you want to avoid a penalty, as the 31 October deadline for paper returns has now passed.

Send in a paper tax return on or after 1 November, and you’ll have to pay a £100 penalty – even if there is no tax to pay or you pay the tax due on time – following the introduction of a new penalty regime this year. The longer you delay, the more you'll have to pay, as there are further late-filing penalties after three, six and twelve months.

Your online tax return must reach HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by 31 January 2012. If you haven't sent an online tax return before, make sure you register for HMRC Online Services by 21 January. This will allow HMRC time to send you your Activation Code. Registering for HMRC Online Services is simple – just go to

It’s important to remember that, if you do send a paper return after the 31 October deadline, you cannot avoid the £100 penalty by subsequently filing online.

For help and advice on completing a return, visit or call the Self Assessment helpline on 0845 9000 444.

Notes to Editors

1. Just over 10 million Self Assessment returns/notices to complete a tax return have been sent out by HMRC for the 2010/11 tax year.

2. The new penalties for late Self Assessment returns are:

* an initial £100 fixed penalty, which will now apply even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time;

* after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900;

* after 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and

* after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater. In serious cases, the penalty after 12 months can be up to 100% of the tax due.

3. There are also additional new penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at: 30 days; 6 months; and 12 months.

4. Further information on the new penalties is available from the HMRC website at

NAT 86.11

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
Press enquiries only please contact:


HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

Andrew Bennett
Phone: 020 7147 0051

HMRC Out of Hours
Phone: 07860 359544

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