How to Never Miss the Self-Assessment Tax Return Deadline Again
The self-assessment deadline for tax returns has passed once again. While the majority of people manage to get it done by 31st January, around 700,000 (according to 2019 figures) miss the deadline each year. Unfortunately, that means financial penalties which could get worse the longer you leave it.
The good news? You don’t have to be hit with fines every year. In this post, we’ll look at how you can prepare to make sure you never miss another self-assessment deadline again.
Fines for missing the self-assessment deadline
First things first, here’s why it’s so important to get your self-assessment tax returns in on time. Failure to file your return online by 31st Jan results in a £100 penalty, which increases by a further £10 a day if you leave it more than three months after the deadline.
On top of that, you’ll be charged at least £300 for failing to pay the tax you owe after six months – with another £300+ penalty after 12 months. In short, it could leave you seriously out of pocket.
How to stick to the deadline
As with any deadline, preparation is key to get your self-assessment tax returns in on time.
If you haven’t completed a self-assessment tax return before, it’s important to register with HMRC to receive your Unique Taxpayer Reference. The code will be sent to you in the post, allowing you to activate your account online. However, with a wait of up to 10 days to get your code, it’s well worth doing this a few weeks in advance. You don’t want to be fined upwards of £100 just because you’re waiting for the postman.
We won’t sugar coat it – tax returns aren’t fun. You need a lot of documents and paperwork, including your National Insurance number, P60 and P45 to demonstrate any income you’ve already been taxed on, plus details of any employee benefits or pension and charitable contributions you’ve made throughout the year.
Crucially, you’ll also need records of all your self-employed income and expenses. That’s why it’s important to keep a copy – digital or physical – of all invoices and receipts throughout the year.
Get clued up
Gov.uk provides a wide range of resources for help with self-assessment. There are all kinds of guides, online videos and webinars explaining different parts of the process. The site also provides contact details if you require assistance with your tax return, through Twitter, webchat, phone or post.
It’s well worth setting aside a couple of hours to get familiar with the process in advance. This will make it far less daunting when you need to complete your tax return – and make you less likely to put off the deadline.
Speak to the experts
If the idea of self-assessment tax returns still fills you with dread, it’s worth speaking to an accountant. Accountants deal with self-assessment tax returns on a regular basis, meaning they know the process like the back of their hand.
With an accountant on your side, you can get your self-assessment tax return completed quickly, on time and with everything correct for complete peace of mind.
Accountants in Leeds
Want to make sure your self-assessment tax return is completed on time next year? Or need to get things sorted for a deadline that’s already passed? Whatever the case, UWM Accountants is on hand to help. We’re a team of experienced accountants in Leeds, providing simple, cost-effective self-assessment accounting services to individuals across the UK.
Want to find out more? Our friendly team are just a phone call away on 0113 231 0202