Late penalty charges on self-assessed tax returns

This guidance only discusses the tax returns to be submitted to the Tax Administration – the VAT return and other returns relating to self-assessment.

Wages, salaries and employer’s contributions paid on 1 January 2019 or later must be reported to Incomes Register. For more information on late filing penalties, see the website of the Incomes Register.

Late penalty charges consist of two parts: one part is based on the number of days, and the other part is dependent on the size of the tax owed.  

1–45 days late 

The first tax return filed for the tax period is subject to a day-based charge amounting to three euros per day, max. €135.00.  

More than 45 days late

If the first tax return for the tax period is filed late by more than 45 days, the day-based part equals €135.00 in total.  Two percent of the tax to be paid and filed late is added to it.  However, the maximum charge is €15,000 for each tax.

Filing a replacement return (a correction return) is a procedure for correcting the errors in a previously filed return. No late penalty is imposed on such a return if it is filed before 45 days have elapsed after the filing deadline of the original return. However, late filing by more than 45 days additionally causes two percent to be imposed of the tax that is filed late; the maximum amount is €15,000 for each tax. 

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Example 1

A taxpayer is 35 days late when filing a tax return for €5,000 tax to be paid.  The late-payment charge for 35 days is €105 (35 days × €3 = €105). 

Example 2

A taxpayer is 50 days late when filing a tax return for €5,000 tax to be paid.  The day-based part of the charge is €135 for 45 days, and 2% of the tax that is filed late i.e. €100 is added to it.  The amount is €235.

Example 3

A taxpayer is 50 days late when filing a tax return for €5,000 VAT to be refunded.  The charge for the late filing is €135.  No late-payment penalty based on the tax amount is imposed in this case because the return does not contain any tax to be paid. 

Example 4 

On 18 March, i.e. six days after due date, a taxpayer files a VAT return for January for €5,000 VAT to be paid. A penalty is imposed for six days amounting to €18 in total.  

On 30 March, the taxpayer files a replacement return in order to make a correction to the previous return. The replacement indicates that the amount of tax to be paid is €7,000. No penalty is imposed in this case because the replacement arrived to the Tax Administration before 45 days had elapsed after the original due date.

On 30 April, the taxpayer files yet another replacement return. It indicates that the amount is €8,000. This is compared with €7,000, the previously filed amount of tax to pay.  A penalty is imposed: two percent of €1,000 which equals €20.

Example 5 

On 8 January 2019, a taxpayer files a return with “No wage payments” selected for November 2018. The return arrives 27 days late. Late-filing penalty is €3 per day for a total of €81. 

Employer’s contributions are one tax type. However, the late-filing penalty is imposed for

  • employer’s withholding
  • health insurance contributions
  • tax at source.

Therefore, each of these three tax types accrues late-filing penalty at a rate of €1 per day for a total of €27 per tax type.

If, for example, the taxpayer has filed late returns on withholding or health insurance contributions, late-filing penalty is imposed in proportion to these two tax types.

Amounts for the tax period are estimated if no tax return for self-assessed taxes is filed on time 

If the taxpayer has not filed their tax return on self-assessed taxes by its due date, the Tax Administration sends them a reminder. It also contains an estimate for the amount of the tax to be paid. 

If the taxpayer still does not file the return, the Tax Administration debits the estimated amounts as the taxes for the period. A punitive tax increase is imposed because the taxpayer failed to comply with the requirement to file the return. 

The taxpayer can make a correction to the estimated amounts by filing a replacement return. If it is filed after the Tax Administration has imposed the tax by estimation, the Tax Administration may remove the estimated amount and the punitive tax increase. In this case, the submitted replacement is treated as a tax return filed late, so a penalty charge is imposed.  The charge is also in these circumstances calculated separately for each tax. If the tax filed late amounts to 0 or is negative, the charge is €135. There is no need to submit a separate appeal request.

The summary will display the facts on the imposed and removed tax, and on the decision on the penalty charge. The charges fall due on the second general due date that comes after the date when the Tax Administration had entered them on the summary.

Example 6

A taxpayer failed to file a tax return for self-assessed taxes e.g. did not file a VAT return. Tax to be paid is €10,000 by estimation. The taxpayer is late when filing a tax return for €6,000 tax to be paid.  If the Tax Administration regards the return as sufficiently reliable, it reverses the estimation and the decision on a tax increase. The filed return is treated as a return filed late.  A late-payment charge is imposed due to the €6,000 tax filed late. The summary, sent to the taxpayer every month, will display this information.