Time flies – 5 reasons you should file your tax return early
Can you believe that we are already over 1 month into the start of the new 2017/18
tax year? The saying ‘time flies’ has never been truer. Unfortunately, that
means we are also 1 month closer to the filing deadline for our 2016/17 tax returns
and you may have already received your annual reminder from HMRC.
Tax returns dated 06 April 2016 to 05 April 2017 are due for electronic filing no later
than 31 January 2018, the penalty for late submission (up to 3 months) is currently
We are all tempted to brush our accounts and tax returns to the side whilst we
concentrate on the running of our businesses day to day… after all, it is the easy
option BUT I am sure you can agree there is always that one niggle in the back of
your mind that gets bigger and bigger as we get closer to the 31 January deadline.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a stress-free couple of months knowing you are all up
As a business owner, and it has taken me a long time to realise this myself BUT
sometimes we have to give ourselves a break. Instead of feeling stressed and
anxious for 9 months wondering what your tax return will be, why not do it now and
release yourself of that tension? Your mind will feel much better for it allowing you to
concentrate on more important things like business plans for future growth. I like to
think a clear mind is an exciting mind.
If that doesn’t tempt you here are a few further advantages of filing your tax returns
So you are in a position where you do have a tax liability payable to
HMRC, by preparing and filing your tax returns sooner rather than later you are
giving yourself more time to plan, save and budget your cashflow accordingly (and
no last minute surprises). The payment deadline will remain at 31 January– It will not
trigger an earlier payment date and maybe depending on individual circumstances
you might even be able to have any tax due collected via PAYE through an adjusted
tax code (providing your tax return has been filed by 31 December).
If you are lucky enough to be due a tax refund, the sooner you file the tax return, the
sooner you will receive the amounts due, you do not have to wait until the 31
January before repayments are released. HMRC are fairly reasonable and refunds
tend to get repaid in a matter of weeks upon receipt of the tax return.
By preparing and filing your tax return early you are effectively creating
yourself more time to gather all of the necessary information required instead of
rushing around last minute ploughing through draws, cupboards, piles of paper,
carrier bags, etc. There is also less time to lose important documents and forget
what happened that 1 day back in April 2016 that your accountant is now querying
It will also give your accountant more time to identify and investigate any errors and
or discrepancies within your accounting records.
Tax Credits –
If you are currently in receipt of tax credits your deadline for renewal is
31 July. Although at this date you are able to provide HMRC with estimate figures
wouldn’t it be much more efficient to be able to give them actual figures?
By providing HMRC with actual figures you can ensure you avoid the HUGE
It is also worthwhile remembering if you do see a sudden change in your income
throughout the tax year to inform them as this can also have an impact on your
HMRC Enquiries –
HMRC currently have 12 months from the date you file your tax
return to raise any queries they may have. The sooner the return is filed, the sooner
this period will close. Which goes back to my initial point, an HMRC return can be straining,
the sooner the 12 month period has passed the sooner your mind can be at ease.
Of course, I’m sure everything will all be OK if you are chosen by HMRC, especially if
you have the helping hand of a reliable accountant.
So what are you waiting for? – Get in touch today to see how we can help you.