Tax return errors and pitfalls 

Recent data shows that some 100,000 people were penalised by HMRC last year for submitting inaccurate tax returns. As well as penalties for filing late there are also penalties for mistakes.

HMRC can fine taxpayers up to 30 per cent of the tax due for careless inaccuracies – but if they believe the error was deliberate, then it could hit them with a 50 per cent to 100 per cent charge!

As HMRC is currently increasing the number of enquiries to reach pre-pandemic levels, the number of taxpayers getting fined for inaccuracies is likely to increase.

It is important to note that some people drawing their pension will need to include that income, a fact many don’t realise. Adding to this, taxpayers need to pay particular attention to the reporting of foreign income and child benefit liability if they earn over £50,000.

Here are some of the most common tax return mistakes we see:

  1. Registering with HMRC too late to complete your tax return
  2. Ignoring pension contributions – there are valuable tax reliefs to be claimed!
  3. Reporting of foreign income – most taxpayers are taxed on their worldwide income and gains
  4. Forgetting about the child benefit charge if you earn over £50,000. The higher earner of a couple faces the higher income child benefit charge even if the benefit is paid to the other partner!
  5. Failing to declare Gift Aid charitable giving
  6. Expenses errors
  7. Getting numbers wrong
  8. Having an incorrect PAYE tax code – particularly common when your income starts to go over £100,000 and you start to lose the entitlement to the tax-free personal allowance.
  9. Not being aware of payments on account
  10. Missing the submission deadline

It is important to be aware that filing your tax return late or failing to pay the tax you owe on time, could mean you face extra penalty fees and interest charges. It is therefore recommended that you authorise a tax specialist such as Beavis Morgan to handle your tax affairs, help you avoid any pitfalls, and deal with HMRC on your behalf. This will ensure that all deadlines are met and that you are not paying more tax than you need to.

At Beavis Morgan, our diverse team of tax professionals are committed to ensuring that your tax reporting obligations are fully satisfied and that every opportunity to lawfully exploit tax savings is made known to you, restructuring your affairs in a tax effective and efficient way.

If you have any concerns relating to your tax return or wish to discuss your tax affairs in further detail, please contact your usual Beavis Morgan Partner or email