Self-assessment season looms once more

It’s that time of year again when the aroma of mulled wine and the sound of familiar Christmas pop songs on the radio become inescapable. For accountants, it also signals the start of the busiest time of the year: tax return season.

You may remember some HM Revenue & Customs (or Inland Revenue, as it was then) advertisements from days gone by featuring Hector the Inspector or perhaps Mrs Doyle from Father Ted, exhorting us to get our returns in by the end of January. As with most new year’s resolutions, promises by clients to accountants to get their records in earlier next year usually fall a bit flat. 33,000 taxpayers filed their tax returns in after 11pm on 31st January 2017[1].

For those with straight-forward tax affairs, it shouldn’t take too long to prepare the return. The advent of ‘simple assessments’ this year should remove the requirement from many taxpayers from having to complete a return at all[2].

However, those with more complicated affairs, such as those who have sold assets or have overseas income, should allow plenty of time for their advisers to work out the correct tax due. It’s worth bearing in mind that 31st January is not only the deadline for filing the return, but also the date that any tax is due to be paid. The earlier your return is completed, the earlier you’ll be able to budget for the tax.

So, to avoid that £100 late-filing penalty, plus interest on unpaid tax, it certainly pays to get your tax records in as soon as you can. What better excuse is there to avoid those dull family visits, than to collate your tax documents for your accountant? (Over eight thousand people submitted their returns on Christmas Day and Boxing Day last year![3]

If you believe that you may need to file a tax return, and have not yet done so, it’s not too late. Call our office on 01536 419940 and we will discuss your tax matters with you and help you take the action you need to comply with HM Revenue & Customs.