Don't Miss The Self Assessment Deadline 31st Jan

Monday January 9, 2017

So, with the holidays over and 2016 firmly in the past, you're probably thinking it's time to go full steam ahead into the New Year. That's great; all that energy's going to put your business on a strong footing in 2017. Just take a glance over your shoulder before you head out, though. If you haven't filed your Self Assessment tax return for 2015-16 yet, you might spot a dark shadow in the trees behind you - a clipboard in one hand and a machete in the other. That's the taxman you're seeing and, like all the greatest stalk-and-slash monsters, he's going to catch up with you eventually.

If you've lived in the RIFT for a while, then you already know the drill. The deadline for filing your tax return for last year is the 31st of January. If you haven't got your paperwork submitted by then, the axe is going to fall in the form of a £100 fine just for being one day late. Leave it any longer than that and things are only going to get worse.

By the way, don't fall into the trap of thinking that you don't have to file a return just because you made a loss last year. That £100 penalty still applies even if it turns out you don't owe any tax at all! Worse still, if you don't submit your figures, HMRC might even decide for themselves what they think you owe. There's a strong chance you won't like the numbers they come up with.

It's not just the paperwork that needs to be done, either. That same deadline counts for paying up the tax you owe as well. Believe us when we say that the last thing you need is to start 2017 racking up interest on a debt to HMRC.

If you're new to Self Assessment and haven't got yourself registered on the system yet, then you need to move right now. It can take a couple of weeks to get your Unique Taxpayer Reference number from HMRC, so delaying now's going to cause you serious headaches later. On the other hand, if you've closed your business down in the last tax year, don't forget that you still have to file up to the date you stopped trading. A lot of people get caught out by this, so make sure you're not one of them.

If this is your first year paying tax under self assessment then you'll have to make your first "payment on account" as well so you'll be paying 50% of your predicted next year's tax bill as well.

The good news is that the Self Assessment system can be a pretty painless experience - especially if you've got RIFT's help. Get everything to us as soon as you can and we'll take care of the taxman for you so you can get back to planning the future of your business.

Get in touch by phone or email, and leave the rest to us. Most importantly, keep listening out in 2017 for more Voices from the RIFT...

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