UK small business owners risk losing £45 million for failure to complete tax returns

UK small business owners face losing £45million on 1st February by failing to complete their tax returns by the 31st January deadline, warns KashFlow. The warning comes as an influx of businesses are struggling with their accounts ahead of the final deadline for submitting tax returns.

A recent survey of 500 small businesses found that one in ten business owners admitted to missing tax return deadlines[1]. With 4.5 million small businesses in the UK[2] this means that 450,000 small business owners are likely to miss their tax return deadline at the end of this month. The smallest fine incurred for missing the deadline is £100 for being just one day late[3].

Duane Jackson, founder and CEO of KashFlow, says, “I find it truly astonishing that in today’s climate such a huge amount of money is being put at risk by UK business owners. As a small businesses owner myself, I understand the plethora of pressures faced by businesses today, yet adding another financial burden by missing a deadline will only worsen the strain in the long run.

“Managing accounts is a huge challenge for small business owners, particularly when there is no accounting knowledge. And with external pressures meaning that owners want to spend the majority of their time ‘getting on with business’ it perhaps seems inevitable that tax deadlines, which can seem insignificant in comparison to other demands, are missed.

“Key to elevating these struggles is simplifying and automating processes where possible. Small business owners must use technology to their advantage to simplify work and save both time and money. When technology that is both easy to install and use is readily available, it makes no sense at all to be wasting money on a tax deadline.”

Will Farnell, director at accountancy firm Farnell Clarke, adds, “When it comes to accounts, it can be easy for small business owners to neglect time consuming and cumbersome jobs which require manual completion. But I believe these bad habits need to be challenged. In our experience, those clients who use an accounting system tend to complete accounting tasks as they go along, as it is quick and easy to do so. The advantage of this is that there’s no panic of having to suddenly complete six months’ work in the week before a tax deadline – which can result in the business owner not having the time to give thorough attention to core business needs during that panic period.”

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