When do you complete your self-assessment? In 2018 over 30,000 taxpayers submitted their self-assessments in the final hour before the deadline on 31st January. Almost 750,000 people missed the deadline altogether. It is advised that you avoid this busy period and complete your self-assessment before Christmas.
Don’t leave your self-assessment to the last minute
You have to sort it regardless, so there’s no use in waiting around to complete and file your self-assessment. All you are doing by leaving it to the last minute is creating risks for yourself. The longer you leave it, the greater the chance for errors and penalties for lateness and inaccuracy.
There is an instant £100 fine if you miss the deadline at midnight on 31st January 2019. So when’s the best time to file your self-assessment for the 2017/18 tax year? At Churchill Knight, we advise filing before Christmas.
16,000 filed their self-assessments at Christmas in 2017
Strangely, Christmas is a popular time to file self-assessments – with many individuals and business owners not even taking a break on Christmas Day in order to sort their tax affairs.
HMRC said that over 6,000 self-assessments were submitted on Christmas Eve in 2017, and a further 2,500 submitted theirs on Christmas Day! This signals that many individuals worry so much about their self-assessments that they fail to shut off at Christmas.
Regardless, you can bet that if Christmas is a busy time for filing self-assessments, January will be even busier. Don’t get caught in the stampede!
Contractors and freelancers should sort their self-assessments before Christmas, and allow themselves time to relax (for once)
There is no better time for you to take a much-needed break than at Christmastime. Shutting down all non-essential admin tasks will allow you to unwind and have a clear conscience.
However contractors are notorious for not taking enough breaks, whether it’s because of outstanding tasks or worrying about spending too long on the bench. Complete your self-assessment now or appoint a specialist accountant to take it completely off your hands.
Give yourself more time to focus on your 2019 plans and objectives
Procrastinating your self-assessment will only lead to procrastinating your goals for 2019. How can you focus on landing a new contract or think about your business’ future when you still have tax deadlines to worry about?
Giving yourself all of January to reflect back on the year and begin to plan for what you want to achieve in 2019. This is an essential step to creating a successful contracting career and business for yourself.
Plan your finances accordingly
Since 13th January 2018 HMRC has no longer allowed taxpayers to use their personal credit cards to pay tax bills. It is also not advised to use a business account or card to pay for your self-assessment tax bill as this is a personal tax liability.
Completing your self-assessment before Christmas will ensure you have more time to plan your finances and cash flow around your personal tax bill. Filing earlier also means you know your tax liability sooner, helping you to prepare.
For all the above reasons and more, it’s well worth your while to file your self-assessment before Christmas. We understand it’s a busy time which is why you can appoint an accountant to complete and file your self-assessment on your behalf. An accountant can answer all your questions and alleviate the stress of meeting tax deadlines.
We hope you feel motivated to complete your self-assessment sooner rather than later. Don’t be one of the millions who wait until January to file – sort it now and start enjoying the festive season!
Contact our Personal Tax team to find out more about completing and filing self-assessments.
Find out who is required to submit a self-assessment for the 2017/18 tax year if you aren’t sure you need to submit one.