Beware the ides of April!

If you haven’t yet submitted your tax return, then beware! This year the taxman has introduced a raft of extra penalties for late filers.

In the past, anyone submitting their tax return after the January 31 deadline faced a straightforward £100 fine. If there was tax due, you also had to pay interest on the outstanding tax.

This year however the game has changed. The £100 fine still stands but HMRC have added a series of further deadlines and penalties for people who file late.

If returns are not submitted by 30 April 2012, an automatic penalty of £10 per day will be charged up to a maximum of £900 in addition to the original £100.

A further £300 (or 5% of outstanding tax) will then be charged if the return has not been submitted by 31 July i.e. if you’re six months late.

If you’re a real sinner and your tax return is 12 months late, another £300 (or 5% of outstanding tax) will be added to the bill.

Clearly, the new measures have been introduced to help the Government pay off its mountain of debt. Don’t let them get their hands on your money – get busy now.

As ever our usual advice still stands – make sure you get your tax affairs in order in good time so your return can be submitted nice and early, avoiding the need for panic – and nasty fines!!