Small business tax return pressure heating up as final deadline draws closer
Sole traders and small business owners find themselves filing self assessment tax returns 24/7 in order to meet the deadline set by HMRC. Failure to file your small business tax return by 31st January 2019 will result in hefty fines for being late.
With the deadline fast approaching, business owners are resorting to what is possibly a small amount of downtime they get to file their tax returns online. Christmas day, a day for celebration and festive fun or for thousands, a day where you file your self assessment tax return?
Thousands file tax returns on Christmas Day
Some 2,616 tax returns were filed on Christmas Day, according to HMRC data, 204 between midnight and 8am, 1,372 between 8am and 4pm and 1,040 from 4pm to midnight. On Boxing Day, 8,465 returns were submitted, with 348 received before 8am, 4,492 between 8am and 4pm and 3,625 over the rest of the evening. HMRC director-general for customer services Angela MacDonald said: “Whether you fit it in while cooking the Christmas turkey, or after the kids have gone to bed, or after the Queen’s Speech, our online service is available for you to file your tax return at a time that suits you.
Daily Mirror Daily Express, Page: 46 Yorkshire Post, Page: 4
What are HMRC fines for filing your tax return late?
- 1 day late
- You’ll incur a fine of £100 for filing your tax return just one day late.
- Up to 3 months late
- £100, plus £10 for each additional day (capped at 90 days) – maximum fine £1,000.
- 6 months late
- £1,000, plus £300 or 5% of the tax due (whichever is higher).
- 12 months late
- £1,300, plus £300 or 5% of the tax due (whichever is higher). In serious cases, HMRC may fine you 100% of the tax due.
Who needs to file a tax return?
Specifically, you’ll need to fill in a tax return if:
- you’re self-employed, a business partner, or director of a limited company
- you’re an employee or pensioner with an annual income of £100,000 or more
- you have a pre-tax investment income of £10,000 or more
- your income (or your partner’s) was over £50,000 and one of you claimed Child Benefit
- you have income from abroad that you need to pay tax on
- you were a trustee of a trust or a registered pension scheme
- you received a P800 form from HMRC saying you didn’t pay enough tax last year – and you didn’t pay what you owe through your tax code or with a voluntary payment
- you’re a ‘name’ at the Lloyd’s of London insurance market
- you’re a minister of religion
- you’re a trustee or representative of someone who has died.
If any of these apply, the onus is on you to declare this income to HMRC, which will usually ask you to fill in a tax return.
How to submit your 2017-18 tax return online
As previous deadlines have passed, your only option now is to submit your small business tax return online through HMRC to meet the 31st January 2019 deadline. If you haven’t already done so, you will need to register with HMRC online, which you can do here.
If this is your first time filing your small business tax return online, you will need your Unique Taxer Reference (UTR). You should have received your UTR in the post. HMRC automatically send your UTR when you either register for self assessment or set up a limited company. The UTR is a 10-digit number, which may also be referred to as your tax reference number. Your UTR can be found on previous tax returns and other documents from HMRC such as, notices to file a return or payment reminders. If you can’t find your UTR, you can contact the Self Assessment helpline who will be able to assist.
Once you’ve registered, you will be able to submit your small business tax return online by filling out a tax return form. Managing your tax return online has a number of advantages including;
- Electronic submission direct to HMRC.
- The ability to save as you progress and go back until you’ve completed it.
- Faster and more reliable than sending paper tax returns.
- View tax returns submitted.
- Print your tax calculation.
After you’ve submitted your small business tax return, you’ll receive confirmation by email and can get back to business. If you’re struggling to pay your tax bill, consider comparing tax loans and spread the cost over a period to suit your business.
Plan ahead for your 2019 small business tax return
2020 may seem a long way off, however, it’s worth considering setting time aside to submit your 2019 tax return. Rather than leaving it until the last minute, give yourself time to breath and submit it ahead of schedule. Your untaxed income from 6th April 2018 to 5th April 2019 will fall into the 2019-19 tax year.
The deadline for submitting your 2019 small business tax return will be 31st January 2020 online.