Self-assessment tax return – don’t leave it until the 31st January deadline!

Approximately 11 million people have to submit a self-assessment tax return to HMRC before the 31st January deadline, including those who are self-employed, a company director or a partner in a business.

However, with the date fast approaching, people are being urged to file at their earliest convenience.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has also encouraged people to submit their return before the closing date, highlighting the fact that the 30th and 31st January were the busiest days for submissions last year.

This year, the 31st January falls on a Sunday, meaning that HMRC’s helpline will not be available to provide guidance for those completing returns without the help of an accountant.

The tax authority has also revealed that 50,000 of last year’s on-time returns were submitted on the actual deadline day, but people must remember that if they have any issues this year they will be unlikely to get them resolved on Sunday 31st January.

Individuals that are required to complete a return are being advised to seek professional accountancy advice, to ensure they are fully aware of their allowances and to reduce their tax liabilities.

People with multiple income streams are also more likely to require advice, to ensure their financial information is submitted correctly.

Bank interest statements and P60s, as well as details of any pension contributions, will be needed in order to complete information fields in the online form, when relevant.

For anyone who misses the deadline, a £100 penalty will be issued which can then increase on a daily basis.

HMRC can also serve even larger penalties to people who submit their return three months after the deadline date has passed, providing an additional incentive for those affected to file as early as possible.