Higher income parents in the East of England currently receiving Child Benefit have just four weeks to register for Self Assessment with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in order to avoid a penalty.
Parents who stopped receiving Child Benefit payments before January 7 2013 do not need to take any action. However, parents who stopped receiving payments after January 7 or who are continuing to receive Child Benefit, and with income over £50,000, must register for Self Assessment for the 2012-13 tax year by October 5 2013. This will enable them to declare the Child Benefit received, pay the tax charge on time and avoid penalties for failure to notify HMRC on time.
Letters are currently being sent to around two million higher rate taxpayers, including those affected by recent changes to Child Benefit. These will remind them they must declare any additional income or register now with HMRC for Self Assessment, in order to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge, if they have not already done so.
HMRC’s Chief Executive, Lin Homer, said: “HMRC wants to ensure that people avoid possible penalties and pay the right amount of tax. If you had any additional income last year, or have been affected by the changes to Child Benefit, you have until October 5 to register for Self Assessment.”
Over 400,000 people with higher incomes have already opted out of receiving Child Benefit payments. Those who did not receive any payments relating to the period after January 7 do not need to register for Self Assessment.
People who fail to register could face a penalty of up to 100 per cent of the tax due, depending on the circumstances. They might be able to come out of Self Assessment in future years if they (or their partner if they are the Child Benefit recipient) choose to opt out of receiving Child Benefit and avoid incurring the tax charge. People who want to opt out should go to hmrc.gov.uk/childbenefitcharge
More information on whether people need to register for Self Assessment can be found at: hmrc.gov.uk/yourtaxreturn