Don’t be tempted to leave it to the last minute
If you’ve got a tax return to complete, the clock is ticking…Are you risking a fine of £100 or more?
In 2016, nearly 2,000 people submitted their Self Assessment Tax Returnon Christmas Day! We’re not suggesting you need to ditch the turkey in favour of your tax return, but we are now well into January and if you still haven’t done yours you could be asking for trouble.
It can be tempting to leave it to the last minute but it’s really not a good idea. HMRC can be hard to reach at the best of times and if you need to reset your password or request any additional information you may need, it will probably need to be posted to you.
There is a fine of £100 if your tax return is up to 3 months late. If it is later than that you’ll have to pay more, and you willbe charged interest on any tax you owe.
If you’re thinking of making an excuse for not filing be aware that HMRC probably won’t accept iit.
There are some reasonable excuses they will consider on a case by case basis, such as an unexpected stay in hospital or a bereavement, but if you rely on someone else to send it and they don’t, your payment fails because you haven’t got enough money or you didn’t get a reminder from HMRC, you will still have to pay the £100 penalty.
The taxman won’t give you points for creativity either – they have heard some pretty crazy excuses over the years – from paperwork being eaten by a rat to a run-in with a cow.
Of all the things people love to leave to the last minute, tax returns must be pretty high on the list, but getting all your information together can take longer than you think.
There’s several documents you will need to have to hand if you are doing your tax return yourself (or you will need to pass on to your accountant):
- Your HMRC log in details
- Your P60 or your P45 if you’ve been employed during the tax year
- All of your accounts information and receipts – income and costs from business expenses
Don’t forget to factor in payments on account too. If you owe more than £1,000 in your tax bill, you will likely have to pay 50% of your projected tax bill for next year too. This could be a nasty surprise at the end of January if you haven’t budgeted for it.
Although you might not want to think about your Tax Return until January, you can actually file it at the start of the new tax year in April, but you won’t have to pay any tax you owe until the deadline the following January.
Even better, you could hire an accountant to take care of it for you!
January is the season for setting goals and making resolutions (did you know that 17th January is ‘ditch new years resolutions day’ if you haven’t already given up?)
We all promise ourselves that this is the year we will get more organised – but what if you actually made it happen this year?
It’s a really simple process. Say hello on our website, social media or give us a call and we will give you a quote for your tax return and accounts. We have a simple online sign up process (so there is no pesky paperwork!) and unlike other accountants we are around all year to give you advice and support.
That gym membership might already be gathering dust and maybe you gave up dry January last week, but sorting out your finances could be the easiest New Year’s resolution to keep this year.
Did you know, 99.5% of our clients said they would recommend us?
If you would like to talk about your tax return, need help getting to grips with keeping your business finances in order or just want to know what makes us the coolest accountants in the entertainment industry, get in touch. Our team are here to help.