Its that time of year again, no not the January sales… self assessment taxpayers must fill out the form for the tax they owe for the period April 2009 to April 2010 by the end of the month (31st January) or face £100.00 fine, and if there is still tax outstanding interest will be charged at 5% on the sum. The next deadline is the 31st July which also has a £100 fine if the form is not submitted. After that date the daily increment of up to £60.00 a day can be added to the fine.
Even for people that fill out returns yearly they can be hard to fill out, with the need of additional help from a tax advisor as you need to fill out supplementary forms, help from HMRC itself or just help generally. Last year over £12 million was paid by taxpayers in fines for late or incorrect information, as with most things in life leaving it until the last minute can be stressful.
About nine million higher rate tax payers will have to fill out a self assessment form before the 31st January, but after returning to work after Christmas and New Year it is usually the last thing on the list to face after a mountain of emails, mail, meetings and catching up on work more generally. With more people falling into the self assessment tax returns this year than before (this includes higher rate tax payers, landlords, sole traders and people with either full time or part time freelance work) it is important that people take the time to fill them out to avoid any penalties.
The easiest way to complete a tax return is online, as the service carries out automatic calculations, has faster processing, you can save the form should you have any questions for a tax advisor or HMRC and the deadline is later. If it is your first time using the online service then you will need to register and activate your account before you can start and you will need your taxpayer reference and either your postcode or national insurance number so it is a good idea to be prepared and have all the necessary ready before you get started.
Avoid being late with your tax return contact your tax advisor or get online and start filling out your return to avoid being one of the people paying towards the £422 million likely to be collected in fines this year.