The rising numbers of self-employed must not overlook the 31 July self-assessment tax payment deadline before their summer holiday getaway, says global accountancy body, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) or they risk hefty fines when then return home.
ACCA says that the self-employed – currently 4.54 million people in the UK - as well as higher rate taxpayers, company directors and anyone with more than one income as well as, potentially, child benefit claimants are required to make a payment on account – part of their annual tax payment, by 31 July, slap bang at the height of the holiday season in the UK. However, failing to pay could result in hefty fines from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at ACCA, said: 'This tax payment deadline could not come at a worse time. School children are off for the summer and many families have booked their holidays. There has also been a surge reported in post-World Cup holiday bookings.
'Dealing with a tax payment is probably last on the to-do list. However, this is not something that can be left until you come back from your summer break, or even leaving it until the last minute and trying to do it yourself. The consequences of not paying on time or paying the wrong amount are high. The current fine is five per cent of tax owed and if you leave it too long, that amount could escalate.
'The UK is seeing a rising number of self-employed. There was an eight per cent increase in the number of people self-employed compared to a year ago and many will be encountering this summer tax deadline for the first time. It’s not the most publicised of tax deadlines. It’s hidden in the depths of the holiday season. While HMRC might be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of collecting late payment fines, many taxpayers risk getting caught out. Ignorance and naivety are no excuse when it comes to HMRC.'
ACCA says that anyone struggling with the self-assessment can call the HMRC helpline. However, the global accountancy body points out that should a taxpayer need advice they should always check the credentials of their adviser.
Chas Roy-Chowdhury said: 'Many people are unaware that anyone can call themselves an accountant, even if they have no qualifications and have no membership of a regulated body, so check who is giving you advice about your tax or other financial matters. Ensure they are chartered certified accountants. They are fully qualified, insured and regulated.'
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For further information:
Steve Rudaini , ACCA Newsroom
tel: +44 (0)20 7059 5622
Mob: +44 (0)7801133985
Notes to Editors
- ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
- We support our 162,000 members and 428,000 students in 173 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 91 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.
- Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.