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20th July 2018
If you are self-employed or run your own business, then the short and simple answer to the above question is: Yes, you do have to file a tax return.
Every financial year, you are required to submit a self-assessment tax return. If you do not, or even if you miss the deadline, you face being penalised and fined by HMRC.
But it’s not just the self-employed and entrepreneurs who must file tax returns. If you are employed and are a higher tax rate payer, or you earn rental income from properties, then you have to follow the code too. Again, penalties can be incurred.
So it’s safer to know exactly what you have to do, and how to do it. Submitting tax returns can be a tricky process, which is why RDG Accounting are here to lend our professional advice and help you along the way.
If any of these apply to you, then it is up to you to declare this income to HMRC, who will usually require you to submit a tax return.
HMRC will contact you, either by post or email, informing you to send a return.
You must fill it in and return it to HMRC by the due date – you are legally obliged to – and submit it either online or by post.
However, if your circumstances have changed and you do not need to be in self-assessment, such as you are no longer self-employed, then you still have to notify HMRC to close your account. You may have to pay a penalty if you do not tell HMRC.
Yes, you can. Even if penalties have been charged for late filing.
If you do not need to submit a tax return, for instance, because all your income is taxed under PAYE and you have no additional tax liability, you can contact HMRC and ask for the tax return to be withdrawn. If HMRC agree, you will no longer have to file a return.
If late filing penalties have been charged and you ask for a return to be withdrawn, and HMRC agree, you do not need to file the return and any penalties for missing the deadline will be cancelled.
But don’t sit on it, as you will usually have only two years from the end of the tax year for which the return is due to ask for a return to be withdrawn.
The tax year starts on April 6 and ends the following year on April 5. You must send your tax returns and any money you owe to HMRC by the following deadlines.
There are also a couple of instances when the deadline is different, specifically if you are eligible for HMRC to automatically collect tax you owe from your wages or pension, then you must submit your online return by December 30.
Of if you are a trustee of a registered pension scheme, HMRC must receive a paper tax return by January 31. You cannot send it online.
You’ll get slightly more than a slapped wrist. If you miss the deadline for filing your tax return, or for paying your bill, then you will be liable for a penalty. The HMRC fines for late tax returns are:
It certainly is. If, for example, you made a mistake on your tax return, you can make a change after you’ve filed it – you’ll just need to write to HMRC. Their address can be found at the gov.uk website.
Yes. Yes. Yes. If you don’t, HMRC won’t just frown disapprovingly at you, they may charge you a penalty.
It is a legal requirement for self-assessment people to keep records, either digitally or on paper. HMRC may ask to see your records if they want to check your tax return, and if they can’t, or your records are incomplete or inaccurate, they can fine you.
Yes, and no. The tax return form can be daunting, and it can be tricky and time-consuming to complete, even though HMRC are encouraging people to fill returns themselves using their online system.
What may initially look like just a few boxes that need filling out can soon turn complicated, depending on your circumstances and what other extra sections need to be completed. And, of course, making sure all deadlines are met and all the correct paperwork is available.
Talk to us at RDG Accounting. We offer self-assessment tax returns for individuals and businesses, and we have in-house experts who will do it for you. We will:
That all amounts to peace of mind for you that your tax return will be completed on time, and leave you safe in the knowledge that the return is accurate.
We’ve helped many businesses successfully complete this process. Have a look at what they said, and if you’d like to talk to us further on how to file your tax return, please fill in your details below and one of the team will be in touch. Alternatively, give us a call on 0333 200 0714.
have you read our previous post?