Time and the Taxman wait for no man – or Christmas!

HMRC have been issuing harsher penalties for the late submission of self-assessment tax returns since the tax year ending 5 April 2012. Out went any leniency for late submission where no tax was payable or where any tax due had been paid in full, and in came an automatic £100 fine for a return filed a day late. In addition, daily penalties of £10 per day (up to a maximum of £900) will be charged for tax returns submitted more than three months after the filing deadline. The filing deadline for returns for the year ended 5 April 2013 is 31 January 2014.

With HMRC strutting their punitive stuff, the people have responded and as a result there has been a 21% reduction in late submission: from 1.6 million late returns for 2010-2011 to 915,000 for the 2011-2012 tax year. Despite this reduction in the number of fines issued, HMRC are still likely to receive higher revenues from this source than under the old system. Don’t be part of the late return crowd!

There are many reasons to file your tax return on time – even if giving HMRC unnecessary fines is not enough incentive!

  • The sooner your 2012-13 tax return has been filed the sooner you will know what your tax liability will be on 31st January 2014 (and 31st July 2014 if applicable) – which helps cash flow planning.
  • If you have a refund due it cannot be issued until the tax return has been filed.
  • If you have to make payments on account of your tax liability for the 2013-14 tax year (on 31st January 2014 and 31st July 2014) and you believe your liability will be less than for 2012-13, the more notice we have prior to 31st January 2014 to review this, the better.
  • Timely filing will allow you to enjoy a relaxing Christmas holiday period – warmed by the sure knowledge that fines or any other HMRC gifts will not be waiting in store to add to the January blues.

Tax Return Tips

Aim to provide all tax return information to us before the Christmas break:

  • If you are employed make sure that we have your P60 and P11D information
  • If you are self-employed, provide us with accounts or the information to enable us to prepare accounts
  • If you have property income provide details of rental income, mortgage interest and other expenses
  • Bank interest and dividend income – either list out or provide copies of certificates, statements, dividend vouchers or simply the number of shares you have (we can look up the dividends paid)
  • We will need details of any assets disposed of – date of sale, sale price, date of purchase, purchase price, selling and acquisition costs, enhancement costs
  • If your tax affairs are more complex than listed above,  there is even more incentive to provide details as early as possible – we may need to ask supplementary questions and raise queries with you

Speak to your Barnes Roffe tax team contact if you need advice on any matters relating to your tax return.

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