The deadline for submitting self-assessment tax returns is approaching and Craig Harman, tax specialist at Perrys Chartered Accountants, gives advice on how to make sure that the paperwork is prepared in time. He also mentions the worst excuses for late submissions.
The deadline for the submission of paperwork is always on the 31st of January and those that miss it will receive an automatic £100 fine from HMRC. It can also issue additional penalties after three, six, and 12 months if the file still fails to be handed in, such as extra fines and late payment charges.
Those with a reasonable excuse to be late are forgiven, but not everyone has a reason behind their tardiness so a lot of people made up their own excuse. The worst ones for 2017 are: ‘My tax return was on my yacht, which caught fire’, ‘My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days’, ‘My dog ate my tax return and all of the reminders’, ‘The postman doesn’t deliver to my house’, ‘My colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it’.
Craig Herman however, gives people a few tips on how to make sure they avoid penalties and meet the deadline.
The first step is to understand the numbers and not just estimate. Make sure all the paperwork, including invoices, receipts, payslips, and bank statement, is placed somewhere handy and that you understand the ‘allowable expenses’. If in doubt, seek help on HMRC’s self-assessment page.
If you don’t know how to complete a tax return file, contact an accountant that will ensure nothing is missed and will take the burden off your shoulders.The last thing is to make sure you don’t forget to pay what you owe after submitting the tax return. 31st of January is the deadline for any tax owed for the previous year.