If you have fallen behind with your tax returns now is the perfect opportunity to catch up. It can be tempting to “let sleeping dogs lie” but this approach will, sooner or later, land you in hot water. HMRC’s latest campaign is targeted at those that have been serviced notice to file a return for 2011-12 or earlier and offers favourable terms to catch up.

In order to take advantage of this campaign you must first register and this can be done online. You must then file all your outstanding returns by 15 October 2013, but don’t forget, if you are filing online, you will first need to register for online services and will need to allow time for this. So, don’t wait until you are ready to file before you register – register now in order that everything is in place to be able to file your returns by the deadline.

You will also need to pay anything that you owe by 15 October, but you may be able to negotiate payment terms with HMRC.

However any overpayments of tax and National Insurance contributions for 2008-09 and earlier are now out of time and cannot be repaid unless you have been issued with an estimate (a ‘determination’ of the tax due) within the last twelve months and this is greater than the liability now shown in your tax return calculation.

HMRC is also currently running a property sales campaign relating to sales of properties that were not your principal residence (or may have been for part of your period of ownership). You must notify HMRC that you wish to take advantage of the scheme by 9 August 2013 and disclose your gains by 6 September 2013.