Don’t delay – the tax return deadline is on the horizon

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Happy New Year to all of you who read our column.

January is often a quiet time for many businesses – but not for us.

The deadline for filing Self Assessment Tax Returns for the year ended 5 April 2015 is 31 January 2016, so if you haven’t sent your records in to your accountant you need to act fast!

Returns that are filed late attract an automatic £100 late filing penalty and this increases if the Return is more than three months late. Any tax due is also due by 31 January 2016.

All self -employed people need to complete a Return, some company directors, people who have rental income and many people who are high earners or who have multiple sources of income.

Some people choose to file their own Returns but you need to be confident to do so. Many clients that we take on who have been filing their own Returns realise that they have been missing out on tax relief as they were not aware what they could claim.

If you are not able to pay your tax bill by the due date of 31 January 2016 the worst thing to do is to ignore it.

In our experience it is much better to contact H M Revenue and Customs and agree a payment plan rather than ignoring them and waiting for the debt collection letters to arrive.

We are happy to accept new customers and if you haven’t yet got things in order please contact me, we can help and will do our best to get your affairs up to date and filed on time.

Once this deadline has passed it is time to think about planning for the next year.

The timing of any capital purchases can be planned to maximise the tax efficiency and if your profits have gone up we can draft the tax early so you can start putting away the tax money.

Likewise if your profits have fallen there may well be scope to reduce your payments on account.

In summary, our message is do not delay!