The deadline for those who complete their self-assessment tax return on paper is approaching fast, warns the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
Forms must be returned to the taxman by October 31st and, with self-employed people now accounting for one in seven of the UK workforce, Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA head of taxation, is keen to ensure those new to the process aren’t caught out.
Make sure you avoid a fine
‘While the majority of people now complete their return online there is still a sizeable number who choose the paper method. It’s important you get your self-assessment return in on time, even if you believe you have no tax to pay. Returns up to three months late will incur a fine of at least £100,’ Roy-Chowdhury says.
As well as making sure your return is on time, make doubly sure the information is correct. HMRC will fine or even look to prosecute you if they believe you have deliberately given incorrect information.
‘If you are unsure I would always recommend seeking the services of an ACCA accountant. The up-front cost of an accountant will likely be less than that of a fine for getting it wrong. Remember this deadline exists even if you have no tax to pay.’
The paper deadline is particularly important this year for those using older computers and browsers, as HMRC systems will now only allow filing of online returns through more recent technology, Roy-Chowdhury adds.
‘While the move to more secure browsers is a sensible one, it may come as an unwelcome shock to those who might be faced with upgrading technology that they don’t really understand or feel comfortable if they miss the paper deadline.’