You should be aware that filing your self-assessment tax return is important if you are running a small business – and, more than this, filing your self-assessment tax return by the 31st of January deadline is even more important. But if you have not been able to file your self-assessment tax return on time, you need not panic – there are still things you can do and steps to take even when the deadline has come and gone.
What you should know
First of all, you should know that even if you are just a few days late in filing your self-assessment tax return, you will not be arrested and will not have to deal with a tax inspector. The worst you can get if you are late by a few days in filing your tax return is an HMRC fine of about £100.
However, what you should also know is that the longer you wait to file your tax return, the higher your fine will be. If you have not filed your self-assessment tax return yet and it is only late by a few days, you may be charged interest. But keep in mind that the penalties for late payments do not begin until 30 days after the 31st of January deadline.
Have a viable excuse
If you have a good, reasonable excuse for not being able to file and pay for your self-assessment tax return on or before the deadline, such as an illness or the death of an immediate family member, then the late filing of your self-assessment tax return may be deemed a reasonable or viable excuse by HMRC. With this in mind, if you are late and you have a valid reason to be late, let HMRC know as soon as possible – don’t wait for them to deliver a notice to you first.
There are other reasons for late filing which could serve as a reasonable excuse, and this includes a breakdown of your computer or HMRC’s system when you were trying to submit your tax return, a flood or fire occurring near the deadline which destroyed all your records, or the late receipt of your activation code online even though you applied for it well in advance.
Even if you have an accountant to submit and file the tax return for you, HMRC will still deem you responsible for making sure that your tax returns are filed on time.
Settle it as soon as possible
Again, we have to stress the importance of simply filing your tax return as soon as possible even if you are already late. The longer you wait, the higher the interest charged and fines or penalties. Besides, if you make it a habit of paying and filing late, you may actually receive unwanted attention (often resulting in inspection visits), since HMRC may become suspicious about your records and may want to check them further.
Once is enough when it comes to being late for filing your self-assessment tax return. And to be sure that it does not happen next year, begin collecting all your required paperwork for your tax returns right after the 5th of April. Keep all your files and records in a separate box or container, such as bank interest certificates, vouchers for shares, and the like.
If you need help with tax returns and general bookkeeping (among other accounting services), you can turn to reliable and experienced accountants in central London like the ones from GSM & Co. Without a doubt, these accountants in central London can give you exactly what you need to keep all your financial records and systems up-to-date and in full working order.
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