Tax return deadline looms - HMRC

ON-LINE self-assessment tax returns for 2008-09 must be filed by the end of January to avoid a penalty, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is reminding more than nine million people who submit a return every year, including around 108,000 in Cambridgeshire. The

ON-LINE self-assessment tax returns for 2008-09 must be filed by the end of January to avoid a penalty, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is reminding more than nine million people who submit a return every year, including around 108,000 in Cambridgeshire.

The deadline for paper returns was October 31, which means that if taxpayers submit a paper return after that date or you file online after January 31, they could receive a �100 penalty.

First-time self-assessment filers and those new to online filing first need to register for HMRC's self-assessment online service by visiting the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa and clicking on "register for self-assessment online". An Activation Code will be sent in the post, but it may take up to seven days for this to arrive, so it's advisable to register as soon as possible.

When filing online, tax is calculated automatically, taxpayers get an online acknowledgement, and it's processed faster, so any money owed is repaid more quickly, the department said.


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HMRC's Sarah Walker added: "If you haven't yet sent in your 2008-09 tax return, you need to start thinking about it now. And if you haven't filed online before, allow plenty of time to complete the registration process - that way, you'll avoid a last-minute rush at the end of the month."

January 31, 2010 is also the deadline for paying any tax owed for the 2008/09 tax year.

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INFORMATION: Help is available from the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa.

HMRC IS expecting more than 9.5million self-assessment returns this year. Around 5.8million people filed online last year, up from 3.8million the previous year - an increase of over 50 per cent. The October 31 deadline for paper returns was introduced in 2008. Self-assessment is in its 13th year, having been introduced for the 1996/97 tax year. Additional help is available from the Self Assessment helpline on 0845 9000 444, which is open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.

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