Expat Landlords Urged Not To Miss Tax Filing Deadline

Expat landlords hoping to file a paper self-assessment return need to make sure they hit this month’s deadline.

Landlords should have their return with HM Revenue & Customs by midnight on Tuesday, October 31.

Although most taxpayers file online, a sizeable number cannot access the government online gateway because their browsers are too old or insecure.

Landlords need to file details of their rental profits under the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme.

Those missing the deadline will have a second chance to file, but need to leave up to 20 days to register and to receive the codes for online filing.

Telling HMRC you are filing a return

Chris Jones, deputy chair of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group, said: ‘‘There are different ways of telling HMRC you need to complete a tax return depending on whether you are self-employed or not. In all cases, HMRC will need time to process your information and issue you with a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).

“Once you have got this, you may need to set up an online self-assessment account as a separate step, which can take at least 10 working days. So realistically, if 2016/17 is your first year of self-assessment but you have not asked HMRC for a UTR, you may be looking at needing at least 20 days to get everything in place to meet the 31 January 2018 deadline.”

The final deadline for self-assessment returns is January 31, 2018, but expats should remember HMRC will not accept paper returns after October 31.

Fines and penalties

Failing to file a tax return if required to do so comes with a £100 fine even if no tax payment is due. These penalties can rise to £1,600 if warnings from HMRC are ignored.

If an online return is filed, no penalty notice will be issued.

Landlords who have missed the October 5 deadline for informing HMRC that they need to deliver a tax return can also avoid penalties if they file online by the January 31 deadline.

“As well as making sure your return is on time, make doubly sure the information is correct. HMRC will fine or even look to prosecute you if they believe you have deliberately given incorrect information,” said Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

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