Tax Return DeadlineThe deadline to file your tax return is midnight tonight, and if you think you’re not going to make it, then you’re not the only one. Each year thousands of businesses miss the boat, with many having to cough up £100 to pay a fine, or more in some cases. If you haven’t been able to fill out your tax return in time this year then here’s a few things to consider to help put your mind at ease.

Stay cool

Missing the tax return deadline usually only incurs nothing worse than a £100 penalty. It’s unpleasant yes, but if you act swiftly after your wrist-slapping from the HMRC then you’ll avoid more fines mounting up in the long run. The longer you leave it, the more fines you’ll accumulate. HMRC may charge you interest if you failed to pay your tax on time and penalties on top of this depending on how long it takes to pay this tax, so the quicker you submit your return and pay your tax bill, the better!

After the £100 fine has been issued HMRC will give you a 3 month probation period to get your Self-Assessment to them. If you still haven’t filed your Self-Assessment during this period, HMRC will get tougher and issue you with a fine of £10 each successive day for up to ninety days. Following the ninety days, you will be given an additional fine equal to either £300 or 5% of the tax owed – whichever is greater. This will be repeated after 12 months if you still haven’t filed.

You can appeal with a reasonable excuse

“My tax papers were left in the shed and the rat ate them”, “I’m not a paperwork orientated person” – these are just some of the outlandish excuses that just won’t cut it in the eyes of HMRC. However, HMRC do accept what they deem to be reasonable excuses, namely “something unexpected or outside your control that stopped you meeting a tax obligation”. So what counts as a reasonable excuse? It’s usually something like a family bereavement or a critical illness but other reasonable excuses might include:

-your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online return

-service issues with HMRC online services

-a fire, flood or theft prevented you from completing your tax return

The next step

If you think you do have a reasonable excuse then let HMRC know as soon as you possibly can by submitting a claim. Most importantly, don’t forget to send your return or payment as soon as possible after your reasonable excuse is resolved.

One great way of avoiding the panic and stress of doing your Self-Assessment next time around is to get your accounts in order during the year. Using KashFlow cloud accounting software to upload all of your invoices or receipts each month, will make it super simple for you to go back through your activity logs and make your Self-Assessment much more simple in the long run.

KashFlow is easy to use bookkeeping software that works for small businesses, without using confusing jargon or complicated processes. You can manage your business finances from anywhere and create professional, branded quotes and invoices in minutes. For a free, no-obligation 1-2-1 demo of the software just call the KashFlow onboarding team on  0844 815 5779.

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