Self Assessment Tax return
The deadline for your 2022/23 self assessment tax return (SAT) is 31 January 2024, so there isn’t any rush. 
 
But did you know there are some significant benefits if you file quickly after 5 April? That’s why almost 66,500 people filed their returns on 6 April in 2022. 
 
On the other hand, 2.3million people missed the deadline last year. They had to guess how much to pay to minimise penalties and interest payments. Otherwise, if they didn’t make Time to Pay arrangements with HMRC, the costs would soon mount up. 
 
Here are just some of the very good reasons to file your 2022/23 SAT return as soon as you can. 
 
Fast rebates 
Once you have submitted your SAT return HMRC will be able to see if you paid too much on account. This could be because your allowable expenses have increased or your circumstances have changed, for example. If you wait until the January deadline your refund could be delayed because it’s HMRC’s busiest time of the year. 
 
Putting tax money aside 
You’ll also know how much tax you need to pay once your SAT return is complete. You can then set yourself a tax budget and put money aside for the next nine months. That will be one less thing to worry about and it will put less strain on your finances. You’ll also be able to make your payment when it’s due. That’s important because HMRC will charge you interest if your payment is late, starting at 5% of the tax owed. 
 
Peace of mind 
Why spend months living with uncertainty about your tax bill at the back of your mind? It’s also much easier to remember all the allowable expenses you should include if you complete your return as soon as you can. There’s no need to spend Boxing Day with a pile of receipts and a headache. 
 
Reduce errors 
It’s easy to make mistakes when you have just a few days left to complete your tax return. Errors could include your calculations, forgetting to include income or expenses, or making ineligible deductions. HMRC expects you to take ‘reasonable care’ and could charge up to 30% of the tax owed if you’re careless. If you realise there’s an error, an early self assessment tax return means there will be time to correct it. 
 
Collecting information 
Downloading bank statements, checking credit card payments and your customers’ overdue accounts all take time. If you need copies of invoices to complete your records you will need to rely on your suppliers to provide them. If you start completing your return early you won’t have to worry about how long it takes. You’ll also have time to check all the details. 
 
Proof of your earnings 
When you’re self-employed obtaining a personal loan or mortgage can take time. You’ll need to provide proof of your income which requires a completed return for the most recent tax year. 
 
Tax planning 
Once you have a clear picture of your most recent year’s earnings you can review your opportunities to reduce your tax liabilities. This could include paying into your pension, supporting a charity, or using your ISA allowance
 
Getting help 
January is the busiest time of the tax year. If you wait until then to complete your return you might struggle to find help if you need it. That includes getting advice on HMRC’s tax helpline or talking to a bookkeeper or accountant. 
 
If you’re persuaded that submitting an early tax return is a good idea and would like some help, please get in touch
 
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