Don't forget your self assessment tax return deadline
At this time of year most people’s focus will be on buying presents, putting up decorations and preparing the Christmas dinner, but people need to remember the self-assessment tax return deadline.
Taxpayers who are required to complete self-assessment tax returns have until midnight on 31 January 2016 to submit them online to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Failure to send your tax return and pay any outstanding tax could lead to severe penalties, starting with a £100 automatic fine that will be applied to all online tax returns if they are late by just one day.
Any tax returns still outstanding three months after the deadline will be subject to a fine of £10 per day for each day the tax return is due, up to a maximum of 90 days. Any return that is six months late will be subject to an automatic fine of £300 or five per cent of the tax due, whichever is the higher. For returns that are 12 months late, another £300 fine or five per cent of the tax due will be added. Any tax outstanding during this period will also be subject to interest on the amount due; meaning that the longer a return is left the larger the final tax bill will be.
Every year thousands of people fall foul of HMRC’s strict deadlines for self-assessment tax returns, but it doesn’t have to be like this.
We understand that people are busy at this time of year, so it pays to get a helping hand with your tax return. Contacting an accountant isn’t always costly and it could save you hundreds of pounds in penalties.
While the deadline is short there was still time for individuals to conduct tax planning in order to minimise their liabilities.
It is never too late to speak to a tax adviser about opportunities to reduce your tax bill. There are a number of HMRC-approved tax reliefs on offer that some people may not be aware of or believe that they are not entitled to.
In most cases a quick discussion with a tax professional will give you a better idea of whether you are paying too much tax.
If you would like assistance with your tax return or would like to see if you could minimise your liabilities, please contact the office.
Author: Gareth Westworth
Gareth joined Scott & Wilkinson after leaving school in 1990, having attended Skerton High School before joining the sixth form at Lancaster Royal Grammar School. As a manager, Gareth is responsible for a varied portfolio of clients and is...
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