Why you don’t want to leave your tax return until January
Many people think that, since the deadline for filing your return is 31st January, it’s fine to leave it until after the New Year to start getting the information together. Here are 5 good reasons to get it done before the end of 2016!
- 823,000 returns were filed on 30th or 31st January last year (and that was over a weekend!) That’s a lot of traffic for the HMRC website to deal with. This can make filing slow, or a bit unpredictable – and that’s really stressful. Last year, 43% of all filed returns were put through in January. Do it by the end of December and it should fly through.
- Know your tax position. It’s not only your tax return that needs to be filed by 31st January – you also need to pay your tax. What if it turns out your bill is much larger than you expected? How will you arrange to find the funds and make the payment? Give yourself an extra month and you buy some time to arrange funding.
- Tech issues. If your internet is down on 31st January, or you can’t access the HMRC website because of your own technical problems, then this will not be an acceptable reason for late filing. Give yourself a bit more time and avoid the £100 fine.
- Completing the form can take more time than you may expect, and you may want to ask for some advice about how to fill certain boxes in. Have you tried calling the HMRC helpline on 31st January....?!
- And sometimes you are actually due tax back! If you leave that return to the last minute you won’t know, and won’t receive your tax refund until later. Do it now and you may have a nice surprise in your bank account before the New Year.