Self-assessment personal tax returns for the 2018/19 tax year are due for filing, along with any payment owing, by 31st January 2020 at the latest. But why would anyone leave it that late to file it?
You can file and pay your personal tax return any time after 5th April, but some people still wait the full ten months until the deadline to file, very often ending up with a nasty last minute surprise tax bill. Here is our list of reasons why you should prepare and file your tax returns as soon as possible:
- No nasty surprise bills
Forewarned is forearmed. The sooner you get your tax returns prepared, the sooner you will know your liability and what you owe to HMRC. The last thing anyone wants after an expensive Christmas time is a big surprise tax bill in January. HMRC will not be sympathetic if you are unable to pay because you spent too much on festivities. You may also be lucky enough to be due a refund back from HMRC so the sooner you file the sooner you’ll get your money back.
- Time to set up payments
Once you know what you owe, you can then plan for the payments to HMRC. Just because you file early doesn’t mean you have to necessarily pay early, you can wait until the 31st January deadline. But setting up monthly payments throughout the ten months you have to pay will certainly ease the hit to your cash-flow, and reduce the temptation to dip into the tax funds.
- Time to find everything and get it together
Tax returns can require a lot of paper work from you– payslips, P45s, P60s, P11ds, dividend vouchers, mortgage statements, bank statements, etc – and having to find them all at the last minute is not always an easy task. Leave yourself plenty of time to find your information because if you have lost any of it you may have to get duplicate copies and that can be a task in itself.
- Give your accountant time
The more time your accountant or tax adviser has to look at your information, the more time they will have to review things, get things right and answer your questions. If you give them incomplete information, at midday on 31st January, how good a job do you think they will be able to do – especially if everyone else has done the same thing? Get it in early so they can give you a better service.
- Peace of mind
Imagine kicking back for Christmas, knowing that your return has already been filed, the payments already set up and nothing more to do until next year. Why wouldn’t you?
If you would like to talk to us about preparing your personal tax return then get in touch on the details above.