HMRC urge taxpayers to get ‘ducks in a row’ ahead of self-assessment deadline

Fewer than 100 days now remain until the 31 January 2020 deadline for the online submission of Self-Assessment tax returns.

In a bid to encourage early submission, HMRC are advising taxpayers to get their ‘ducks in a row’ before the last minute Christmas and New Year rush which saw over 2,000 people submit their returns on Christmas Day last year.

In most circumstances, if you are employed, tax will automatically be deducted from your wages, pensions or savings and so you will not be required to complete a self-assessment tax return.

However, where this is not the case or where additional untaxed income has been earned, you may be required to complete a self-assessment tax return. This includes the following groups:

  • Self-employed individuals, or sole traders earning in excess of £1,000;
  • a partner in a business partnership;
  • individuals in receipt of rental income;
  • individuals in receipt of tips and commission;
  • those with income from savings, investments and dividends;
  • individuals in receipt of overseas income.

This year, HMRC are also reminding individuals who are liable for the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) that they may need to file a tax return before the deadline.

Those with income over £50,000, who receive child benefit, or those whose partner gets it, are generally liable for the charge.

Anyone who fails to meet the 31 January deadline, for online filing and payment of tax due, will be subject to penalties from HMRC – starting at £100 and ranging up to 100% of your tax liability – so it is worth making sure you allow sufficient preparation time.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “We want to help people get their tax returns right – starting the process early and giving yourself time to gather all the information you need will help avoid that stressful, late rush to file.”

As well as avoiding penalties, there are a number of other advantages to filing early – for example:

  • it allows you to make provisions for the amount of tax that you owe, which can help to ease the impact that your tax bill has on your cashflow;
  • it provides ample opportunity for you to undertake tax planning (i.e. take advantage of any tax reliefs and exemptions);
  • taxpayers may be able to receive any agreed tax refunds sooner; and,
  • it can be a good way to protect against unnecessary errors and mistakes.

At George Hay Chartered Accountants, our team of trusted tax advisers will assist you with fulfilling your self-assessment tax return obligations, whilst saving you time and money, helping you to grow your business and eliminating worry in the process.

Why risk falling victim to penalties, panic and poor guidance when you can rely on us to take care of your tax affairs quickly, efficiently and compliantly.

If you’d like to meet with one of our advisers to discuss your circumstances in more detail, contact us today.

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