Tax return deadline
It’s that dreaded time of the year again,
that time when people scramble around trying to fill in their self assessment tax return before the deadline to avoid paying a fine. It’s also dreaded because this is when you will realize how much of a chunk of your earnings the tax man is going to take!
Whatever the feelings you have about tax, this process will come, and it is important to understand it properly so as to avoid any altercations with HMRC. So let’s walk through the different deadlines, potential penalties to avoid, and what you need to fill out your return.
Paper Tax Returns
For those of us who still prefer to handle our business with paper, the deadline looms much closer. The deadline is the midnight of 31st October. The deadline for this return is much sooner than if you were going to use the internet to do your accounts. The reasons for this are that paper takes time to travel, and to physically review your material takes up a lot more administrative time than via a computer.
Since this is the case, if you are still using paper returns, make sure you are up to date by the end of October!
Online Tax Returns
Most people these days are going to be using online returns. The process is far simpler, and can be done very quickly and conveniently. The government gateway site is your one stop shop for so many different official documents and functions, and your tax is one of them.
You can get your payments, your tax return, and anything else you may need done all through the portal. It is by far the easiest option. The deadline for doing this is a few months later, Midnight 31st January.
What you need to do
The wisest move would be to have an accountant ready to submit your tax return for you. Your accountant can make sure that you are deducting everything you can, and have everything neatly laid out way in advance of the deadline.
What you will also need is your UTR, or your unique tax reference. This will ensure that the government is aware of your identity, and you have no troubles logging in, or getting your case understood.
The last step, and the most depressing of all, is get ready to pay! You are going to have to pay your tax, and depending on the amount and your status, now is the time to understand any payment plans that you can set up with HMRC.
Tax return Penalties
If you are late in handing in your tax return you will be given a fine. This fine will be given even if you do not owe a single penny in tax. The customary late filing fee is £100. Then, if after three months you have still failed to hand in your tax return, HMRC begin to charge you £10 per day, everyday. This is then capped at £900, however, if you leave it to 6 months and even 12 months, the penalties keep coming.
This shows us that if you fail to submit your return, there is the potential to be lumped with a £1600 fine. Even if you have made no money! This shows the importance of this procedure, and should cement in our minds that we should take it seriously!