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[08.01.2019]

Self Assessment Tax Returns – The deadline is upon us

As 2018 drew to a close it was easy to put the thought of your Self Assessment tax return to the back of your mind and enjoy the festive period. Now we are into the New Year and back into the business mind set the Self Assessment tax return deadline of 31st January is fast approaching.

More than a quarter of tax returns filed in January 2018 were submitted less than 48 hours before the deadline of midnight on 31st January. Just over 30,000 of those were filed in the last hour before the deadline. Don’t leave it until the last minute; take steps to complete your return now.

What you need to do now

If this is your first time filing a Self Assessment tax return, or you didn’t file one in the previous year, you will first need to register. The registration deadline was 5 October 2018. If you have missed this deadline, or you miss any other deadline, speak to HMRC as soon as possible. You may still be fined but this shows good faith and can make the process less painful.

The deadline for filing paper Self Assessment tax returns for 2017/18 was 31 October 2018, the deadline for online filing is 31 January 2019. To make the process easier ensure you have all of the relevant paperwork together before starting your return, and take your time when completing the return to avoid errors. Alternatively you can engage our services to prepare and file your Self Assessment tax return on your behalf, making the process stress-free. However you need to act now if you would like us to help.

You will also be required to pay your tax bill. This includes any tax you owe for the 2017/18 tax year, as well as your first payment on account towards the 2018/19 tax year. The deadline for paying is the same as for filing your return, midnight on 31 January 2019.

There is a £100 penalty if your return is up to three months late, which increases the later the return is filed. However you can appeal a penalty if you have a reasonable excuse, but conditions for this are limited. There are also penalties for paying your tax bill late.

Common Issues

Common issues experienced when individuals are completing and filing their own returns include missing out on available tax reliefs, not declaring all income and late or inaccurate filing. Rushing your Self Assessment tax return as you are close to the deadline will only increase the chances of making a mistake. If you realise you have made a mistake you can amend your tax return within twelve months of the 31st January deadline. However, you may still face a penalty if HMRC decides you have not taken reasonable care to provide the right information.

DNG are here to help

So what can you do to avoid the last minute Self Assessment tax return panic at the end of January? Contact us at DNG Chartered Accountants and we can prepare your Self Assessment tax return and support you in the process. We will also be able to advise you if we think there are additional allowances or reliefs you can claim which may lower your tax bill. Remember; act now if you would like us to assist you. If you leave it until the end of January we may not be able to help.

Ian Lowry

 

 

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