File late tax returns by 2 October, HMRC warns

HMRC will send out thousands of letters this week, urging taxpayers to deal with any outstanding tax returns – including any that are still outstanding for previous tax years.

The good news is that fines could be reduced if taxpayers come forward with their details voluntarily during September. These taxpayers will have to pay any tax or interest owed, along with a fine set at the equivalent of 10% or 20% of the tax owed. HMRC has said that in certain circumstances, people will be allowed to spread these payments out.

The bad news is that anyone who has failed to submit outstanding tax returns by the 2nd of October could face criminal charges and their fine could increase to 100% of the tax due.

“This campaign offers a quick and straightforward way to bring your tax affairs up to date, but time is running out,” said Marian Wilson, head of campaigns at HMRC.

Make sure that you do not receive any nasty surprises after 2 October. If you need any help assessing your status or filing your tax returns, please visit or call the 1st Contact Accounting team on 0808 141 1624.

  • Wayne Barton

    If I only worked for a year on a working holiday visa 4 years ago, do I need to do a return from South Africa? If not, what are the implications and how would one go about filing one if needed?

    • admin

      Hi Wayne,

      If you were only on a one-year holiday visa, presumably you were not self-employed. Only self-employed individuals need to submit a tax return; when you work casually or under PAYE, it is not obligatory.

      If you submitted a PAYE return, you more than likely would have been due a tax refund. And if you worked in the 09/10 tax year, we can still see if you are due any money. To check, you can fill in the online application at