First things first — if you haven’t already, you must register for self-assessment by this Friday 5 October.
Once registered, the actual deadline for filing your self-assessment tax return online is 31 January 2024 — so it may seem like you’ve got loads of time to submit your tax return, and you’d be right.
But by getting ahead and maintaining your records all year round, you’ll make the submission of your tax return as stress-free as possible.
Here’s why you should get started on your self-assessment now:
Give yourself more time for your business
The number of taxpayers who wait until the last minute to send through their annual returns is staggering. This year, almost 5.7 million customers were still to file their tax returns by 3 January — less than a month before the deadline.
So how do you avoid this last-minute scramble? The answer is simple — start on your return now, and avoid the possibility of rushing to meet a deadline. It’s not worth trying to beat the clock at the last minute, so the earlier, the better.
Try to get everything ready before Christmas if you can. The result is a stress-free festive break, knowing your finances are in good hands, and having more time to spend with your loved ones.
Avoid fines and interest
Keeping a close eye on cashflow can also help you avoid late payment penalties. These can be expensive and simply aren’t worth the risk.
For reference, if you miss the filing deadline, you’ll automatically be handed a £100 fine by HMRC. Fail to pay and file your tax return for even longer, and you’ll pay interest on the outstanding tax balance and additional daily penalties up to a maximum of £900.
If you file your return early and you’re due a refund, you may get that sooner too. Because HMRC won’t be as busy, your refund will be processed much faster – like beating rush hour traffic.
Sold any assets recently?
You probably need to pay capital gains tax (CGT) if you’ve sold a higher-value asset (such as jewellery) or a property that isn’t your primary residence.
But keep in mind that you only need to pay CGT on gains that total more than your annual exempt amount, which is £6,000 for the 2023/24 tax year (£3,000 for trusts). The threshold is also set to decrease to £3,000 in 2024/25.
If you do incur a CGT charge, you need to include it in your self-assessment tax return.
Once more, it’s important to take steps to decrease the tax you pay by taking care of the issue as quickly as feasible.
We’re here to help
Being proactive by completing your tax return as soon as you can means giving yourself a clearer financial future, the absence of last-minute worry, and perhaps even some tax savings.
We’ve worked with numerous self-assessment customers to help them get a head start on their returns and set up systems that make submission simple.
We support business owners and individuals from all walks of life — so why not give us a call?