If the thought of tackling your Self Assessment tax return fills you with dread, you are not alone. Despite the fact that ‘taxes’ are one of only two certainties in life – many of us are reluctant to prioritise getting to grips with our tax affairs.
Every year, over a quarter of people due to file a Self Assessment tax return complete it in the final 4 days before the 31st January deadline, with over 5% of returns being filed in the final 24 hours.
However leaving it to the last minute isn’t really wise as you never know what may come up to prevent you from completing it in time. With an instant fine of £100 if you miss the deadline, and daily fines of £10 (for up to 90 days) if you haven’t filed by 30th April – there are plenty of financial incentives not to be late.
We think there are also several excellent reasons to get this unpopular task off your to-do list as soon as possible, ideally before the festive season gets underway…
1. It gives you more time to save for your tax bill
There’s no getting away from the fact that we all have to pay taxes, so putting the task off is not going to make the problem go away. It’s much better to know how much you owe and then be able to plan accordingly. Christmas is an expensive time of year, so it helps to know what future liabilities you have coming up, and how much you have leftover to play with.
2. You might receive your refund in time for Christmas
We can’t promise that this will happen! However if you are due a tax refund, wouldn’t it be lovely to have it in your bank account instead of HMRC’s? The sooner you provide all the information required, the sooner your tax calculation can be completed, and if that means you get a nice cash bonus to enjoy during the festive season, that will certainly be something worth celebrating!
3. You have time to ask for help if needed
Self Assessments forms can be complicated, and we may need to talk to you to ask for more information in order to present all the information correctly. If you leave your Self Assessment until the last minute, there will be less time to sort out any queries, and you will be putting yourself, and your accountant, under unnecessary pressure to provide all the information in time.
4. You can relax over the Christmas break
There’s nothing quite like a looming deadline to take the edge off your holiday enjoyment. If you get your Self Assessment filed before the Christmas break you’ll be free to relax with a clear conscience, to fully enjoy the festive season with the satisfied feeling of having all your tax affairs in order ahead of time.
5. You can start the new year free to focus on plans and objectives
January is the perfect time to step back from your business, to think about what’s working well, and also what you’d like to change. Visualising a successful year, and sketching out a plan to achieve it, is the most important thing you can do to bring success to your business. If you have got your Self Assessment tax return out of the way, you will be able to dedicate time at the start of the year to planning your business success, rather than worrying about tax deadlines.
We hope you’re feeling motivated to try out submitting your Self Assessment early this year, to see for yourself how much better you’ll feel.
Bibbys are here to help make the Self Assessment process as painless as possible. Send us your Self Assessment supporting information as early as you can, and we’ll do the rest so you can relax knowing your least favourite job is taken care of until next year.
Contact us for more information about our accountancy and business planning services.
Bibbys are a friendly firm of Chartered Accountants based in Devon, helping individuals, entrepreneurs and business owners with all their accountancy, tax and business planning requirements. Contact us today for a free no obligation chat about how we can help you.