Despite the constant reminder of the 31st January Self Assessment deadline, many still don’t submit it on time. Or there is carelessness in its completion, causing inaccuracies. It’s easy to think “I won’t be given a penalty, that won’t happen to me”, but recently HMRC have proven there’s no lenience in who they issue these to for tax non-compliance.
Join us as we explain why you can’t afford to put off the tax return, as well as how to make sure you’re not met with a penalty…
Inaccurate numbers are one of the most common tax return mistakes and HMRC have fined plenty of taxpayers due to this error.
No matter the complexity of the calculations you need to make, you will be issued a penalty regardless if HMRC believe you have been careless. This is a minimum of 15% of the additional tax owed, and can be up to a maximum of 30%.
Among those most recently penalised are 115 Finance Directors and other senior finance executives. Even businesses who used the best tax advisors haven’t been spared. Although HMRC has said it does not expect perfection when it comes to the Self Assessment, it’s clear that no individual or business (no matter the resources they may have at their disposal) is 100% safe from a penalty.
How to avoid a penalty
The main way you can escape any sort of fine is by firstly submitting the tax return on time. Whilst life is busy, especially with the festive period occurring just before the deadline, HMRC don’t take kindly to poor excuses. Therefore, set aside a specific time slot to get your tax affairs done and dusted.
Help yourself by collating all the information required in one sole place throughout the year. Whether you prefer for it to be gathered into a physical space or one that is virtual, ensure that there’s no chance of anything getting lost. This will also prove useful in guaranteeing the figures are accurate, so HMRC won’t be suspicious.
Also, make sure you know the potential penalties so you’ll be motivated to file the Self Assessment on time. There are upcoming changes to the system too – be aware of these so you don’t end up caught under them.
Ensuring accurate figures
You can stay safe from any penalties by guaranteeing that all the numbers are correct. A tax advisor isn’t necessary – you can use GoSimpleTax as your own personal guide. It provides all the advice you’ll need, meaning the information will be completely accurate and you can reduce the tax owed too.
With our tax software, you simply input your data and it does the calculations. This is done in real time, so you can get a clear picture of your finances no matter how far away the Self Assessment deadline may be.
To ensure you get your tax return in on time without risking a penalty, trial our Self Assessment software for 14 days free of charge.