Darren Stone, Manager and Chartered Accountant at Leon and Company in Leeds, blogs about the upcoming tax return deadline and what exactly is involved in completing a return.
As printed in December’s JLife Magazine
At the time of writing, the deadline for submitting our paper self-assessment tax returns for the year ending 5th April 2014 has just passed. However, this date is fast becoming irrelevant as in this ever increasing technological world, many people now prefer to file their tax returns online. This is all the more prevalent, because in doing so, we all gain an extra three months to file – and as such, 31st January is now the new 31st October. Happy days.
But all is not roses. This January deadline comes at the expense of flexibility. If any one of us dare file our return even one day late, we incur an automatic £100 penalty. We all have reasonable excuses for late filing (like getting over the hectic New Year festivities in December), but that doesn’t wash with the taxman. HMRC define exactly what they consider to be a reasonable excuse, and almost nothing qualifies except for a serious illness or proven technical difficulties.
But this isn’t the end of it. If you continue to not file your return, a daily penalty of £10 per day kicks in after three months, not to mention further fines and interest on late payment. This can be a very expensive business.
But do not despair. Not everyone must file a tax return; they are normally required for those of us with non-standard income, or special circumstances, including (but not limited to): being a director, earning over £100,000 per annum, reporting business profits (and losses!), capital gains, receiving dividends, trust income, property rentals, taxable foreign income, trust income, etc. You may also need to complete a tax return if you have been in receipt of Child Benefit but earned over £50,000 in the tax year. If any of the above applies to you, and you are not already completing a tax return, then you may very well have to register as soon as possible.
If you would like more information on whether you should be registered, or indeed, would like assistance with your 2013/ 14 tax return, then we would be delighted to help you. As we look towards the New Year, people begin to think about their tax affairs and that all-important 31st January deadline. Don’t leave it too late!