With the self-assessment deadline just around the corner, now’s a good time to get a head start on your self assessment tax return.
What is self-assessment?
Self-assessment is a system HMRC uses to collect tax on income that wasn’t taxed at source. People who are self-employed, such as sole traders, have to file a self-assessment return, along with partners in partnerships and landlords who receive rental income. Directors of limited companies who pay themselves a dividend may also need to file a return.
If you’re not sure whether you’re affected, you can check if you need to send a return on the Government website.
Why you should submit your tax return now
The deadline for completing your return for the 2021/22 tax year is 31 January 2023, and while HMRC gave taxpayers an extra month to get everything together and filed in 2022, it is unlikely this will be the case this year. Any taxpayers who don’t file their return and pay any tax due by February 2023 will face penalties and interest.
To help you get started, we’ve outlined some of the benefits of filing your return early below.
Improved cashflow management
The earlier you submit your self-assessment return, the sooner you’ll know how much tax you owe. You don’t need to pay your tax bill at the same time as filing your return, so filing earlier will give you plenty of time to budget and manage your cashflow accordingly before 31 January.
On the other hand, missing the filing and payment deadline will result in having to pay interest on your tax bill, as well as penalties. Cashflow problems are very common this time of year, so avoiding this extra cost is crucial.
More time for tax planning
Making a head start on your return will give you time to explore the wide range of reliefs and allowances available. Working with a specialist may introduce you to methods of reducing your tax liabilities that you were previously unaware of.
Access tax refunds sooner
If you file your return early and you’re owed a refund, there’s a good chance you’ll receive it ahead of the deadline. HMRC will let you know the amount you’ve overpaid by as soon as you complete your self-assessment form. After that, they’ll be able to process your refund, and you may not have to wait until 31 January to receive it. If you think you’ve overpaid, filing earlier can speed up the process.
Gain peace of mind
A looming tax deadline can make it hard to concentrate on anything else in your life, but completing your forms now may alleviate some unnecessary stress in the coming weeks.
If you have any questions about submitting your self-assessment tax return, get in touch! Our experts will be happy to help.