Don’t get “spooked” this Halloween, says ICAEW ahead of paper tax return deadline

With just a couple of weeks to go before Halloween, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has urged taxpayers to avoid any unwanted frights this holiday season.

Friday 31 October marks the deadline for submitting the paper self-assessment tax return for income earned in the year to 5 April 2018.

If you are instead among the growing numbers of taxpayers who file their tax returns digitally, you have an extended deadline of 31 January 2019.

Whichever method you choose, make sure your tax return is prepared and filed ahead of time, because late returns trigger an automatic £100 fine and the possibility of even greater penalties.

The accounting body issues the reminder as more people than ever are due to complete a tax return, in part due to recent rises in self-employment.

If you’ve earned more than £1000 in revenue and not paid tax at source (known as PAYE), a tax return is required by law. You may also have to file a tax return if you earned more than £10,000 in savings and investments, you made profits from selling assets, you are a company director of a limited company, your taxable income was over £100,000 and several other reasons. Find out if you are required to file a tax return here.

Commenting on the upcoming deadline, Anita Monteith, ICAEW Tax Manager, said: “If the idea of filing your tax return scares you, you just need to get organised. Leaving it to the last minute can result in making mistakes or not having all the documents you need. As important as filling the self-assessment form is, it’s equally important to allow time beforehand to sort all the relevant documents you might need.”