Clock ticking for first-timers
Individuals filing their self-assessment tax returns online for the first time have until Friday to register for HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) online services.
Taxpayers have until midnight on 31 January to file their tax returns online. However, those who are new to online filing will first need to register for HMRC’s online services, the deadline for which is this Friday 21 January.
“Once registered, you will be sent a code to activate your account,” explains Andrew Shaw, a tax partner at chartered accountants Kingston Smith LLP. “This is sent to your home address and may take up to seven working days to arrive. So it is important to register as soon as possible.
“To register, you will need your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and either your postcode or National Insurance number,” says Andrew. “Your UTR can be found on your correspondence from HMRC; otherwise you will need to request it from your Tax Office. However, it can only be sent to your home address via post, so again, you will need to factor this in.
“There is a fixed penalty of £100 for filing a personal tax return late, although this can be avoided by ensuring that any 2009-10 tax is paid in full by 31 January.”
Last year, a record 6.4m people filed their tax returns online, up from 5.8m in 2009. This year, so far HMRC has received 4.6m online returns, a far cry from ten years ago when just under 39,000 tax returns were filed online.