Yup.. Just a week until the filing deadline for your 2008 Self Assessment Returns – if you haven’t done it already.
Just a few things to bear in mind for you:-
1. Using the on-line filing system is no guarantee that your SA form will be accepted first time. There could be errors, boxes ticked or not ticked, student loan calculations done incorrectly, more than 28 digits in your business name or any number of 200 or so “known issues” that prevent successful filing. Moral is then, don’t rely on filing at 11.59pm on the 31st Jan – just in case of one of these hiccups.
2. Penalties are automatic. So don’t think you can come up with a “reasonable” excuse that will let you off. It won’t.
3. You can pay any outstanding tax on-line using the Alliance & Leicester website. All you need is your 10 digit UTR and remember to put a k on the end (no don’t ask why…) and a debit card and you can pay it right up to midnight on the 31st and it will be cleared funds immediately – so no interest.
4. Still want to pay the “old fashioned” way by post but haven’t received a payslip from the Tax Office yet? You can use this one – just fill in the details before you post if off.
5. You may not be aware but if you have paid all your tax by the 31st Jan, but haven’t filed you SA form by the deadline, the Tax Office have to reduce your penalty to £nil.
The best advice is to deal with your tax affairs in plenty of time. You can file your form anytime from mid April to 31st Jan so it always baffles me as to why people still have a tendancy to leave things until the last minute.
I had two client’s yesterday (one old, one brand new) who both brought me two years books. SA forms for 2007 and 2008 being required. I gave them both a right talking to for being so lazy and ostrich like in their attention to tax matters but they will both be charged royally for leaving me just 7 days for the work.
Filing your SA form early means you know your tax position and what payments are required well ahead so that you can plan them into your cashflow.
Filing at or after the deadline brings your case to the attention of the HMRC system and you are statistically more likely to undergo a detailed investigation (to make sure you did it right in the end – they say).