Don’t leave your tax return until the last minute | ACCA Global
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The end of January may seem like a long way off but it will come round quicker than you think. My advice would be to get your return done as early as possible. The earlier you start to do it, the more time you have to check that you have everything to complete it. As you may find for instance that you do not have all the interest statements of you need. HMRC won’t hesitate in fining you if there are mistakes in your tax return. The last thing anyone needs is a wholly avoidable fine from the tax man, especially after the expense of Christmas
—Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation, ACCA

The Christmas holidays may be just around the corner, but don’t let the season of goodwill cost you more than it should. Forgetting about your self-assessment tax return could leave you facing a fine from the tax man, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has warned today. 

HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) requires anyone completing a self-assessment online return to send their forms to them by the end of January. The January deadline for self-assessment has been in place for the last six years, in 2012 HMRC issued 850,000 fines for late and incorrect filing. 

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA head of taxation said: 'The end of January may seem like a long way off but it will come round quicker than you think. My advice would be to get your return done as early as possible. The earlier you start to do it, the more time you have to check that you have everything to complete it. As you may find for instance that you do not have all the interest statements you need. HMRC won’t hesitate in fining you if there are mistakes in your tax return. The last thing anyone needs is a wholly avoidable fine from the tax man, especially after the expense of Christmas.

'For many people filing an online self-assessment return is a straightforward process but if you are unsure about the information you are submitting, seek the advice of a chartered certified accountant. The cost of a professional accountant will be less than any accumulated fine from HMRC. Don’t be one of the, almost, a million people caught out each year.'

If you miss the 31 January deadline you will be fined £100, regardless of whether you actually owe any tax. From then on, the fine will be £10 per day for the next 90 days. Meaning if you are three months late in filing and even if you owe no tax you will have a fine of £1,000.

- Ends - 

For more information, please contact:

Ray Allger, ACCA UK Newsroom
+ 44 (0)20 7059 5788
+44 (0) 7540 919 819
ray.allger@accaglobal.com

Notes to Editors

  1. More details about self-assessment, the deadline and penalties, and if you need the help of a professional qualified accountant, see the 'Related Links' section, left of this article.
  2. ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to 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. 
  3. We support our 162,000 members and 428,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 89 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. 
  4. 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.