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Why complete your self-assessment form and make payment early?

Why complete your self-assessment form and make payment early?
Monday, September 11, 2017

When is self-assessment day? 31st January? You’d be right. But there’s another self-assessment date that slips most by.

From September for about six weeks, we get some of our valued existing and new customers calling us up about 31st October. What is the significance of that date?

It’s the deadline for submission of self-assessment paper returns. A declining number of us are doing paper returns across the country but the option is still available – click here to read HMRC’s guidance.

In the age of Xero and fully digital accounting practices like Panthera, we’d strongly recommend you stick with digital filing.

However, people who file paper returns so early enjoy a few distinct advantages over their digital counterparts. And people who pay their tax months before they have to enjoy even more benefits. But what are they?

Know what you owe

Business has its ups and downs. What makes running a business a little bit easier is knowledge.

Completing your self-assessment in September or October will let you know just how much personal tax you’ll have to pay.

If your business is cyclical meaning that the winter months are leaner and you have the money available to pay HMRC now, pay it and you won’t find yourself caught short on January 31st.

Bank records, invoices, and receipts

For those of you not using Xero yet, downloading your bank records is one way to start working with Panthera to compile your self-assessment form.

Things are changing now but some of the High Street banks’ online platforms do not allow you to look at bank transactions more than 18 months old.

If that’s you, your only hope is to phone the bank and pay for the privilege of receiving paper statements. You’ll then have to input each item on your statements one by one into an Excel spreadsheet.

You also get the chance, without the pressure of the 31st January deadline looming over you, to find and store all the receipts and invoices you’ll need for your books. Every missing record could be an allowable expense you can’t claim back which means you’ll pay more tax than you need to.

If you're paying on account, this will reduce your July payment

If the way you pay yourself is via salary and dividends from your own company, you can win yourself a tax advantage by filing and paying early.

If you owe less than £3,000 in tax, you can ask HMRC to work out if your underpaid tax from dividends or other sources can be taken from your salary or pension in smaller equal instalments.

HMRC's advisors are easier to contact

Getting through to HMRC’s helpline in January is a testing affair. It’s better to save yourself the headache.

Definitely no penalties, except if…

…you don’t pay your tax by the 31st January.

If you decide to submit your self-assessment early but don’t make payment until after deadline day, you will be on the receiving end of HMRC’s penalties which, at time of writing, are:

  • £100 instant fine,
  • An additional £10 a day fine if you haven’t paid by 30th April,
  • If you haven’t paid 90 days after 30th April, you’ll pay the greater of £300 or 5% of the tax you owe,
  • The greater of £300 or 5% of the tax you owe if you haven’t paid within a year, and
  • Up to 100% of the tax you owe if HMRC thinks you’ve been deliberately holding off payment.

Come and talk to Panthera

Like the idea of filing and paying early? There are genuinely distinct advantages to it.

If this is the year you’re going to file and pay early, please call the team on 01235 768 561 or email enquiries@pantheraaccounting.co.uk.

We’ll work through every stage with you and we’ll even help you with any tax planning opportunities for the next financial year.

Last but not least, what if I want to make a change to my self-assessment form after I’ve filed it early?

That’s fine. You can resubmit it any time you like before 31st January without paying any additional charges.

And there’s always one…

Don’t file it too early. Accountants Baker Tilly told the Daily Telegraph about a client who “filed his return for the year 201314 in mid-2014, well ahead of the January 31, 2015, deadline. Tax was due.

“HMRC factored the underpaid tax into his code, and his PAYE income was thus adjusted. So far, so good.

“This very organised individual, however, then completed and submitted his self-assessment return for the year 201415 in May this year – some eight months ahead of the deadline.

“Again, tax was due.

“The taxpayer’s efficiency in filing his return was matched by the efficiency of HMRC in contacting his employer: a new code was issued and as a result his pay was further reduced.”

This diligent and organised tax payer was paying two years’ worth of tax at the same time.

It all turned out fine in the end but if you’re going to be that quick in filing, please contact us beforehand to avoid situations like this.

What our clients say

For us, there is nothing better than a happy customer. Here are just a few that let us know how much we mean to them.

Pete Dungey

Simple, efficient and most importantly, hassle-free.

We found Panthera via our search for a Xero expert. We knew the software we wanted to use, and needed a forward-thinking accountancy partner who could get us up and running, and teach us the ropes moving forward. Tory and her team have always been on hand to answer our questions, and help us to grow as a business, particularly during periods of big change, such as becoming VAT registered. They are always on hand to alleviate any concerns and help to keep our records in order, which makes our year-end accounts an absolute breeze! Being based in Bristol, our relationship is entirely email based, alongside one consolidation meeting at year end - this keeps things simple, efficient and most importantly, hassle-free.

Pete Dungey Kaleido Grafik Limited
Anita van Eijndhoven

Talk Our Language

The support and service we receive from Panthera Accounting is very good. Everything from regular meetings, a prompt e mail response and the transition of our Xero software (which we find very pro active indeed) has and is all remarkably efficient. We find Panthera talk our language and make any process as painless and easy as possible.

Anita van Eijndhoven Quidne-IT
Ash & Tim Lane

Panthera brush aside the stereotype of the typical accountant

We got in touch with Panthera Accounting by way of a recommendation; we haven't looked anywhere else since. They are an extremely professional yet relaxed group of people. We were slightly daunted by the idea of accountants but Panthera brushed aside y the stereotypes. They are very understanding when answering any questions we may have. They are completely efficient, offer sound business advice, and are fantastically priced. We will continue to recommend them.

Ash & Tim Lane Starveacre Fencing
Jayne Johnson

An Asset to my Business!

The whole team at Panthera are great! Working with them has been a huge support to my growing business. They help me to understand the numbers I need to know. They give me technology solutions like Xero so that I can process things quickly and have access to my own figures. They are quick to reply, highly knowledgeable, nothing is too much trouble and as well as making sure that everything is compliant and on time, they are enthusiastic, professional and fun to work with.

Jayne Johnson Better People
John Baker

Absolute joy - they provide a first class service on every level

Working with Tory and the team at Panthera is an absolute joy - they provide a first class service on every level; from simple Xero issues through to more complicated tax enquiries, they’re always on-hand to help me get it right. I’m certainly not their biggest customer, but I’m always made to feel like their most important one.

John Baker BKR Solutions
John Castle

Professional and Friendly

I would like to say that Panthera Accounting have helped me with my business accounts for more than 4 years now. They have consistently offered an excellent competitively priced service that works both professionally and in such a friendly way that I would highly recommend them to everyone considering using their services.

John Castle Ilexanna Limited & Birch Castle Homes Limited
Jonathan Morrison

They are always there to answer queries and sort out issues

I had been with Mr Dunn for 20 years when upon his death Panthera took over the business. They now play a bigger part in the running of my business, they do all the stuff that has to be done but I don't like doing ie book keeping, VAT, wages, and returns. They are always there to answer queries and sort out issues and make sure all Tax deadlines are met. Their costs are fair, service is great and I have and would highly recommend them.

Jonathan Morrison Wallingford Builders
Pippa Scott

Professional, friendly and personal service.

Panthera Accounting have gone above and beyond the call of duty to guide and support our Company. They offer a professional, friendly and personal service that can take the stressful and sometimes frightening feelings out of running a business. They have guided us through the working of Xero and have offered “teaching sessions” on the day to day running of the accountancy package. Our only regret is that we didn’t join their team earlier.

Pippa Scott Scott's Commercial Services Limited
Sara Southey

Panthera puts the personal back in to accountancy!

Tory and her team have provided a friendly, approachable and helpful service from the start. They have delivered a quality service, above and beyond anything I could have expected. Panthera, with the help of the Xero package, have taken the stress, strain and confusion out of managing my company and personal accounts. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.

Sara Southey Bluestones Garden Design
Tracey Miller

Panthera are fantastic.

Panthera are fantastic. Always professional, going the extra mile for their clients and delivering superb service. I recommend them all the time to my clients.

Tracey Miller Bigger, Brighter, Bolder BBB

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