It’s very easy to get comfortable at this time of the year; the dark mornings and evenings are long, you can keep the central heating on for an extra hour or so, chuck on your comfy clothes… and, now, put off filling in your tax return for a month.
Really? Well…read on.
You see, our friend, the Chancellor of The Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has decided that self assessment tax-payers now have until February 28 to file their tax returns.
The pandemic really has got in the way of everything, including, it seems, filling in your self-assessment form.
While this might seem good news on the face of it, getting too comfy with your tax returns and letting dates come and go can be a slippery slope.
There is also a sting in the tail (isn’t there always?!)
You could be left with a nasty surprise if you think the extension also applies to paying your tax. HMRC still wants its dosh and any late payments will see you hit with interest at 2.75% and a 5% surcharge if not paid by 1 April.
“But…,” I hear you cry, …”if Dishy Rishi says we have more time – why the panic?”
Well, there’s no panic, but with Making Tax Digital just around the corner you might want to get used to filling in your tax returns on time – ‘cos, come April 2024, working with HMRC isn’t going to be a once-a-year thing you do through gritted teeth.
If you are VAT registered and below the VAT threshold you can voluntarily join the Making Tax Digital service now but you will be required to follow Making Tax digital VAT rules for your first return starting on or after April 2024.
So, my advice to you is to make sure you get your self-assessment tax return completed by 31st January as you never know what’s around the corner that could delay you (or your accountant) in February to stop it being completed.