‘Get ahead!’ Britons urged to file Self Assessment now to avoid missed deadline fines

Self Assessment tax return forms explained

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Boxing Day will be spent by many Britons relaxing after Christmas over-exertion, but the down-time could also be used productively. Millions of people will need to file their Self Assessment tax return, with the all important deadline on January 31, 2022. People will need to send a tax return if they are self-employed and earned more than £1,000 or if they are a partner in a business partnership.

Others may have to complete the documentation if they are paying the High Income Child Benefit Charge, or to claim some Income Tax reliefs.

Regardless of the motivations for sorting out a Self Assessment, meeting the deadline will be key as Britons could otherwise face fines.

Consequently, individuals are urged to act as soon as possible to allow themselves time to thoroughly and accurately complete the documentation.

Mike Parkes, Technical Director at GoSimpleTax, spoke to Express.co.uk about the matter.

He said: “It’s not often that we get the chance to stop everything and take a few days out, but the days between Christmas and new year are one of these times. 

“Few people relish the thought of doing their taxes, but to get ahead of the game now will let you return to work in January without your self-assessment tax return hanging over you.

“Every year, we see a surge of people filing their return right up until midnight on January 31 – the final deadline for annual returns. 

“But being more proactive and sorting your return earlier makes lots of sense.

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“It removes the stress and worry of late filing and it means that you can start the new year with a clear picture of your incoming tax bill, so that you can budget accordingly.”

Mr Parkes stated filing a tax return does not have to be a chore, and can in fact be fairly simple if approached in the right way.

Some people may wish to use software such as GoSimpleTax or other options to ease the whole process.

Such equipment allows Britons to sync online bookkeeping and their tax return will thus be done as they go.

However, there are important changes which are worth bearing in mind when it comes to the tax return this year.

They relate most importantly to the events of the last year and a half, with the pandemic support measure available to Britons. 

Mr Parkes explained: “One key change this year is the inclusion of SEISS grants for the self-employed. 

“These are taxable grants, but it’s vital that the income is allocated correctly. 

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“Don’t include the grants within your normal turnover figure; there is a specific box in the 2020/21 tax return for you to add details of any grants received. 

“If you were to include the grant within your normal turnover figure and leave the new box blank then it is likely HMRC will add your SEISS grants automatically.

“This means the grant income is included twice – and you will pay tax on the same income twice.”

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