January Tax Return Traps

The deadline for filing a paper tax return has already passed. However, you still have a few weeks to submit your online tax return. This needs to be filed by midnight on 31 January 2018.


You need to file a self-assessment tax return if you:

  • are self-employed
  • earn more than £100,000 a year
  • have a pension income above the personal allowance
  • earn more than £10,000 a year from investments, savings and dividends
  • earn more than £50,000 a year after any deduction and you are in receipt of child benefit



You will be fined £100 for filing your tax return late if you miss the 31 January deadline.

If you do not pay all your total liability that is due by 31 January, you will be charged interest and if you fail to pay your tax bill within 30 days, there will be a 5% surcharge.

If you fail to file or pay for longer than three months, there will be a fine of £10 for every additional day you are late, plus the 5% fee on late payment of the bill that will keep getting added every six months.


Vicky filed her tax return in mid-February with a tax bill of £10,000. She did not pay her tax bill until the end of March. Due to her tax return submission and payment being late, she has incurred £643 worth of fine. This includes late filing fee of £100, 5% fee for late payment of £500 and £43 interest.

If she waited until 1 December to pay her bill, she would have owed £10,000 in tax and would incur almost £3,000 worth of penalties and interest.