The self-assessment deadline falls on 31 January

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Warning for self-assessors as tax deadline looms

Deloitte has encouraged taxpayers to plan in advance for the self-assessment process.

Monday 12 January 2015

Britons have been urged to avoid fines for late payments by submitting their self-assessment tax returns on time.

According to HMRC, more than 550,000 people left things till the very last minute last year, filing their returns on the deadline of 31 January.

Patricia Mock, the business advisory firm’s tax director, said that roughly 750,000 returns were filed late in 2014, leaving people with £100 penalties.

A range of guidance has now been offered by Deloitte, in order to help people navigate the self-assessment process.

Reviewing tax obligations

According to the firm, individuals should do their research and find out whether they actually have tax to pay through the self-assessment scheme.

They may need to file self-assessment tax returns and make tax payments if they are self-employed, receive income from rental properties, or have other sources of untaxed income.

The group added that people actively need to register for self-assessment, rather than waiting for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to send them a return.

Early registration

Instead of leaving it late, Deloitte suggests that people should register for self-assessment early.

It has stated: “If you do need to register, this can be done online at https://www.gov.uk/register-for-self-assessment.

“This will generate a Unique Tax Reference and mean that a tax return will be issued. Registration for online filing is a separate process and is done at: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-send-self-assessment-online/sign-up-for-an-online-account.”

Advance planning

Adding to these points, Deloitte said people should plan ahead by getting important documents together early.

Documents relating to people’s income and any claims for deductions will be required before their returns are completed.

The impact of child benefit

Elsewhere, Deloitte warned that certain people could fall under the self-assessment criteria if they receive child benefit.

As a result of recent reforms, it said that individuals may need to go through the self-assessment process if they receive child benefit but the higher earner in their family earns more than £50,000.

Correcting past errors

Citing other key dates, Deloitte said people need to be aware that they only have until the end of January to correct any errors or provisional figures which relate to their 2012/13 returns.

Further to this, the firm said that higher-rate taxpayers making charitable contributions through the Gift Aid system can carry 2014/15 contributions back to 2013/14, in order to help them secure their higher-rate relief earlier.

But Deloitte warned: “This only applies to contributions made before the earlier of 31 January 2015 and the date the 2013/14 return is filed.”

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Copyright Press Association 2015

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