Although you may just have started work after your holiday break, do be aware that the deadline for submission of paper self-assessment tax returns is 31st October. The reason for ensuring that you do complete your tax return on time and avoid inaccuracies is that there are now increased penalties in place.
HMRC will routinely seek penalties and expect the tax payer to pay – unless they can prove that any inaccuracy was the result of an innocent mistake. Penalties are assessed on taxpayer behaviour, and are calculated on a percentage of overall tax calculation.
These range from what HMRC class as an error (or innocent mistake) at zero per cent.
Careless inaccuracy 15 to 30 per cent.
Deliberate inaccuracy 35 to 70 per cent.
Deliberate inaccuracy with concealment 50 to 100 per cent.
To ensure that you do not get penalised you should endeavour to submit an accurate return. The self-assessment tax return notes provided by HMRC are very helpful so do take your time to read them carefully. Complete your return in pencil first then double check and if satisfied – ink responses in.
If your return involves complex calculations you may wish to seek advice.
If you can’t be sure of getting your paper return on time it is probably best is to arrange to file your return electronically instead.
Please be aware that filing returns electronically allows HMRC to validate your tax assessment more rigorously, so if you are sensitive to tax issues it is preferable to use a paper tax return.
If you need some help with your tax, contact one of our Financial Planning Consultants. At Pareto Lawrence we offer both a tax planning service and corporate planning advice to business owners and private clients.