The deadline for self-assessment tax returns is fast approaching… are you ready?
If HMRC has sent you a notice requiring you to complete a self-assessment tax return, you must complete a return and submit it by 31st January 2018 for the 2016/17 tax year. Even if you have not been asked for one, you may still need to file a tax return if you had a new source of income or capital gains in 2016/17 which you need to pay tax on. If this applies to you, tell HMRC right away.
If you are completing an on-line self-assessment return for the first time you will need to register on-line with HMRC. To file your tax return online, you will need an HMRC online account (also known as a Government Gateway account). If you do not get an account when you register you can sign up through HMRC’s online services. After you have registered, you will be given a User ID, but you will then have to wait around five to seven days for an activation code to arrive through the post.
Register for self-assessment
The self-employed return
If you are self-employed you will need to complete the self-employed section of the tax return. If you have relatively simple tax affairs and your annual business turnover was below £83,000, you can use the short version of the self-employment supplementary pages when filing a tax return. If, however, you have more complex tax affairs and your annual business turnover was £83,000 or more, remember to use the full version of the self-employment supplementary pages when filing a tax return.
Try to complete the form as early as possible to avoid missing the 31st January deadline.
Paying any outstanding tax or NIC
When it comes to self-assessment, payments are due by 31st January and 31st July each year. Remember to allow up to 3 days for your payments to be processed. For the business profits in 2016/17 tax year (accounting periods ending by 5th April 2017) the first payment on account is due by 31 January 2017, the second payment is due by 31 July 2017 and any balance must be paid by 31 January 2018.
If you expect to miss a tax payment deadline make sure you contact the authority concerned straight away. You may be able to get more time to pay or to make ad hoc or monthly payments.
If you miss the 31st January deadline
Those who miss the 31st January 2018 deadline will incur a fixed £100 penalty if the return is up to 3 months late, or more if later. A paper tax return filed after 31 January will already be more than three months late, so file online instead.
If your business operates through a limited company then other deadlines will apply – though directors may need to complete a personal self-assessment tax return.
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The run-up to the 31st January deadline is the busiest time of the year for ICAEW firms so if you need advice, don't delay contact us today.