‘The dog ate it’ won’t cut it – file your tax return now

HMRC has made it clear that many excuses will not be accepted when it comes to tax returns being filed after the 31 January deadline.

Top of its list of most bizarre excuses is ‘my pet goldfish died’, closely followed by ‘I had a run-in with a cow’. Needless to say both applicants failed in their appeal against the automatic penalty of £100 for filing late. HMRC’s list of ‘reasonable excuses’ for missing the deadline is very short indeed.

The deadline is fast approaching and anyone due to file that has not done so as yet should elevate the task to the top of their to-do list. If we are helping you with yours and have not had your information yet it is important that you contact us as soon as possible. We need enough time to file your return accurately and on time.

This year is also the first year that parents with incomes above £50,000 that receive Child Benefit payments will need to pay tax. If you are filing for the first time you will need to leave plenty of time to register online before you can actually file your return. Remember, it is too late to file on paper and penalties start from day one after the deadline.

Another thing to remember if you are new to self-assessment is that next year you will need to make a payment on account, so make sure you put enough money aside to settle that.

If this year’s tax return has been stressful there are ways to alleviate that stress for next year. Keeping on top of your recordkeeping is one of the key ways to avoid a headache next January. If you have everything together in one place it makes filing your return accurately much quicker and easier.

We can advise on the best ways to keep records as part of our self-assessment service. Please contact us to find out more.

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