No one likes doing their Self Assessment tax return, which is why so many of us leave it to the 11th hour in January. But what if we told you that filing your return early has loads of benefits and isn’t that hard? If you’re a UK contractor, especially if you’re working through a limited company, you definitely want to file as soon as you can.

A magnifying glass examines fine print

Who needs to complete a Self Assessment tax return?

If you own a business or are self-employed, you’ll need to declare your earnings by completing a Self Assessment tax return. You would also need to do this if in the last year you:

  • Were a director of a company
  • Earned £100,000 or more in a year
  • Received an income of more than £2,500 in untaxed income
  • Received income from abroad that you need to pay tax on
  • Received a UK income while living abroad

All the important Self Assessment dates

Tax calendar date

What this means for taxpayers

5 April 2018

The 2017/18 tax year ends. Shortly after this date, anyone who is required to file a tax return will receive a notice to submit a return for the tax year that has just ended. 

6 April 2018

The 2018/19 tax season starts. This is a good time to get in touch with a tax consultant about which documents you’ll need to file in your Self Assessment.

5 October 2018

If you received an income in the last year (ending on 5 April 2018) that wasn’t taxed, you will need to register with the HMRC. This could be income from property you’ve rented out or from work you completed as a self-employed individual.

31 October 2018 (midnight)

All paper Self Assessment returns for the 2018/19 tax year will need to be submitted before midnight.

31 January 2019 (midnight)

All online Self Assessment tax returns for the 2017/18 tax year will need to be submitted before midnight.

Make your tax return less taxing

Stress-free filing

Rushed tax returns and the pressure of meeting a fast-approaching deadline can lead to errors on your tax form. You could end up paying too much tax, or even worse, not paying enough, as you have to pay interest on unpaid taxes and you’ll risk being fined.

Being in a relaxed state of mind means that you’re more likely to pick up any errors on your submission and will be less likely to forget to include important information. So don’t leave it until the last minute!

More time to pay your tax bill

Filing your tax early does not mean that you must pay earlier. You will still have until 31 January to pay your tax bill. By submitting early, you’ll know how much you must pay, sooner. This gives you more time to structure your funds and set money aside without it affecting your budget.

Receive your tax refund early

Why delay what’s due to you? Filing early means that you’ll receive your tax refund much sooner (if you qualify for one). HMRC isn’t as busy at the start of the tax season and they tend to process tax refunds more efficiently when there are fewer of them. 

Avoid late penalties

For a business, every penny counts. Getting a head start on your tax returns means that you’ll never have to waste money on paying penalties that you could have easily avoided.

Avoid higher accountancy fees

It’s common for accountants to charge premium rates in January. You’ll get the best out of your accountant and pay lower fees by getting your documents to them early in the tax year.

Speak to a consultant

It’s important to know exactly what’s required of you before you begin your filing process. If you’re new to submitting a Self Assessment return or are feeling a little overwhelmed, our consultants are able to advise on what documents you’ll need, which forms you’ll have to fill in and provide you with some general guidance.

Filing your Self Assessment tax claim needn’t be a stressful experience. Contact us today and let one of our tax consultants assist you with any questions or concerns you might have about Self Assessment.

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