Tax returns reminder

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is reminding people sending their tax return online for the first time to get registered now, in good time before the January 31 deadline.

The October 31 deadline for paper tax returns has passed, so any outstanding 2010/11 Self Assessment returns must now be sent online.

Every year, around 40,000 people file a self assessment return in Ayrshire.

A spokesman for HMRC said: “If you’re completing a return online for the first time, you’ll first need to register for online filing at www.hmrc.gov.uk/online.

You’ll immediately get a User ID, and an Activation Code will be posted to you. Once you’ve activated your account, you can complete your tax return online.

“It’s important you register as early as possible, because it can take up to 10 days to receive your Activation Code. HMRC is therefore urging people to register in December, to avoid a last-minute rush in January.

“Those who have filed online before should check that they still have their User ID and password – it can also take up to 10 days to get a replacement, so don’t leave it to the last minute if you need one.”

HMRC is also reminding people not to file on paper, or you will receive a £100 penalty – even if you have no tax to pay or pay your tax on time. This follows the introduction of a new penalty regime this year.

For help and advice on completing a return, visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa or call the Self Assessment helpline on 0845 9000 444.