It may be a surprise to learn that we have already written to our self-assessment tax return clients asking them to start thinking about their submissions and sending their paperwork to us as soon as possible and we have started to submit some of our early birds tax returns!
So, why are we doing this so early? The tax return deadline isn't until 31st January. Well:
- Historically, deadline day is the busiest single day for filing. There were more than 11.5 million taxpayers required to file their tax returns by 11.59pm on 31st January
- More than 700,000 returns were submitted on deadline day which peaked between 4pm and 5pm (60,000 submissions were filed!)
- At its busiest, HMRC self-assessment online submission deals with around 12 returns per second!
- You may need help from HMRC with your filing, the closer to January you do this, the longer it will take to get through to them
- The sooner you submit your paperwork, the sooner you know how much you owe which gives you longer to budget for the tax you owe and manage your cash flow
- Late submissions incur fines and the outstanding tax usually accrues DAILY interest
- You may be due a refund, the earlier you submit the tax return, the sooner you receive your refund!
- It is recommended that as soon as you receive tax return paperwork (P60, P45, P11D and bank statements etc.) you save these to a tax return specific folder for ease of access
- Filing early doesn’t mean paying the tax early, you still have until 31st January to pay – although you can pay earlier if you prefer
- Rushing your tax return can lead to errors and omissions
- If your tax circumstances have changed in the last year, for example if you have losses or an additional boost to your income, preparing your return early gives you time to seek advice and consider any tax planning opportunities.
- If this is your first year of filing a tax return, you will have to register with HMRC and have a login for the Government Gateway
Click here for a general guide to keeping records for your tax returns
We have a dedicated self assessment page on our website under the services page and lots of self assessment tips under our tips page - have a look and hopefully save yourself some time and stress!