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Taxing festive prize quiz

Rothmans Winchester ran a prize quiz for visitors to their stand at the city’s recent Christmas Lights Switch On event, asking them to guess how many people they thought had submitted their tax return online on Christmas Eve in 2013.

Answers to the quiz ranged from 0 to 2.5 million – but, in fact, the correct answer was 17,000.

The prize for the nearest correct guess was a Lego Advent Calendar and many thanks to all those who took part.

With the festive season nearly upon us and the 31 January deadline looming, it is important to ensure that your affairs are in order. HM Revenue & Customs can levy substantial penalties for late submission of Self Assessment tax returns, even if there is no tax to pay.

Below is a summary of the penalties that will be enforced by HMRC for late submission of personal Tax Returns for the 2013/14 tax year – which are due for submission online by 31 January 2015:

Deadline of 2013/14 Tax Return


If not submitted online by 31 January 2015 deadline


If still not submitted by 30 April 2015

Additional penalty – £10 per day for 90 days (maximum £900).

If still not submitted by 31 July 2015

Additional penalty – greater of £300 and 5% of the liability shown on the tax return.

If still not submitted by 31 January 2016

Additional penalty – greater of £300 and a relevant percentage applied to the liability shown on the Return. The relevant percentage is decided by HMRC and depends on the reason for not submitting the return earlier.

In practical terms, this means that if someone with no tax to pay (but needing to file a Tax Return) does not do so by 31 July 2015 they will face a penalty of £1,300 – which will rise to £1,600 if not submitted by 31 January 2016.

If you are unsure whether or not you need to file a Tax Return or need advice/assistance in completing yours do not hesitate to contact us.

If you would like to find out useful tax tips for Christmas please follow this link to our recent newsletter which details further information: