ICAEW urging workers to not leave tax return until the last minute

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has warned self-employed workers not to leave their tax return “to the last minute”.

According to recent figures, some 5.5 million have yet to file their annual self-assessment return ahead of the 31 January 2019 deadline.

Commenting on the figure, Anita Monteith, ICAEW Technical Tax Manager, said those leaving their tax return until the very last day risk automatic penalty fines.

“Leaving tax returns to the last minute might not seem like the end of the world to people who complete one every year, but if this is your first time, there are a few extra things to consider,” she said.

The accounting regulator has warned first-time or inexperienced self-employed workers to ensure they have everything ready to meet the January deadline.

For example, first-time filers need to allow time to sign up to GOV.UK and request an activation pin, which can take up to 10 days to arrive through the post.

Self-employed taxpayers should also ensure they have all their business records to hand, which may include your pension statement and expenses.

Likewise, if you are an employee of a company but are required to file a tax return, you will need access to your P60 (issued by your employer in the summer) and possibly a P11D if you receive taxable benefits, such as a company car.

Ms Monteith added: “There have also been some changes to how you can pay your tax. Since December 2017 it has not been possible to make payment through the post office and individuals can no longer pay their tax using a personal credit card. This may mean planning another way to pay, ahead of the deadline.”

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