How to amend your personal tax return

 

Question,I am a director and shareholder of my own limited company and I filed an online personal tax return for the 15-16 tax year that I made an error on – I have now realised that I put the wrong figure down for my dividends – am I able to amend my tax return and if so what are the penalties and time deadlines?

The error means I should have paid more tax than I did as my dividends should have been £5,000 higher on my tax return, will there be any further consequences of this?

 

Can you amend your personal tax return?

 

Answer, September 2017

Making an error on a personal tax return is not uncommon and HMRC make provision for taxpayers to amend their tax return providing this is done within one year of the original filing deadline.

For the 15-16 tax return you have until 31 January 2018 to amend your tax return, as this is one year after the original online tax return filing deadline of 31 January 2017.

If you fall outside of the time limit for amending a tax return you need to write or speak to HMRC and they will assess the individual circumstances.

Assuming the extra £5,000 of dividends that are now being added to the return fall within the higher rate of tax (the higher tax band kicked in at £42,385 for the 15-16 tax year) then the additional tax to pay would be £1,250, as dividends in the higher tax band were charged at 25% of cash dividends for 15-16.

As an aside, the taxation of dividends had sweeping changes from the 16-17 tax year onwards which is discussed in our article here: Dividend Changes from April 2016

Going back to the question at hand – HMRC will certainly charge some interest on the late payment of this tax which should have been paid by 31 January 2017.

This could also have an effect on any payments on account that would have been calculated at the time of filing the original return.

Currently the interest charged by HMRC for late payment of tax stands at 2.75% per annum.

You should also make sure that you pay the tax owed within 30 days of the date of filing of the amended tax return otherwise HMRC can issue a surcharge.

If the original error was a genuine mistake – which in this circumstance appears to be the case – then there should be no penalty issued by HMRC, given the disclosure of this mistake is by yourself and unprompted by HMRC.

This may not be the case had HMRC already written to you investigating the tax return – there is more on the HMRC penalty regime here.

Assuming you filed the original tax return online using HMRC software then you can log back into your account and in your self-assessment account follow the options to amend your tax return for the appropriate tax year.  Where tax return software has been used, there is normally the ability to amend a previously filed tax return.