HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is urging anyone who has still not done their 2010/11 tax return to send it online before the end of April, or be charged daily penalties from 1 May.

Anyone whose Self Assessment return is more than three months late will now be charged a further £10 penalty for each day it remains outstanding, up to a maximum of 90 days. This is on top of the £100 late-filing penalty they have already received.

This means people who file their 2010/11 return online on or after 1 May will be liable to daily penalties, as the deadline for these was 31 January. Daily penalties for paper returns began on 1 February, as paper returns were due by the earlier deadline of 31 October.

Looking ahead, further penalties of at least £300 (or 5 per cent of the tax due, if that is more) will be issued for returns that are 6 and 12 months late.

Anyone who's received a late-filing penalty, hasn't yet sent a return, but thinks they don't need to be in Self Assessment, should call HMRC on 0845 900 0444 or go to the HMRC late tax return website. If HMRC agrees, the return and any penalty will be cancelled.

HMRC's Stephen Banyard said:

"We want the returns and not penalties. So, if you haven't sent us your 2010/11 return, you need to do one of two things urgently – either send it online by 30 April, or call us if you think you shouldn't have to complete one."

The new penalties for late Self Assessment returns are:

  • an initial £100 fixed penalty, which will now apply even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time
  • after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900
  • after 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater
  • after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.