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How to best avoid penalties for undeclared tax?

How to best avoid penalties for undeclared tax?

Due to a misunderstanding of how Personal Allowances work, I have not submitted Tax Returns for the last 4 years, despite realising now that I should have.

I am happy to pay the tax I owe but am decidedly less keen on the penalties/fines etc. What is the best way to go about it?

1. A tax accountant friend suggested filling out SA1 as 'I have been earning proeprty income since 06/04/12' - to avoid triggering any automatic late notification penalties - and then, after receiving my UTR, sending in the 4 comps and a cheque for the total amount due.

Is this sensible?

2. Is there any chance I will not receive penalties as I would be making an unprompted disclosure?

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25th Jan 2013 16:04

I think it's unlikely you'll get any penalties - I filed tax returns for a client in a similar situation last year (going back I think about 5 years) and she only paid the tax and interest, no surcharges or penalties. 

Usually once a tax return is issued you have at least 3 months to complete and return it before the late filing penalties kick in.  You may still be subject to a penalty for failing to notify HMRC that you needed to be completing tax returns though, I'm not sure how these are going to work now.

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