By Lynne Gowers on 11th May 2018

Be a self-assessment earlybird – the benefits of filing your tax return early

early tax return

“Never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time”  Charles Dickens

Of all the things that folk tend to put off to the last minute, tax returns must be high on the list. Over last financial year, the Boox tax team filed over two thousand self-assessment tax returns, the majority in the run up to the January 31st deadline.
But while it’s tempting to leave it to the eleventh hour, there are lots of reasons to get your self-assessment done and dusted early in the year.

Here we look at the benefits:

Cash flow

Completing your tax return early means that you are aware of the tax liability arising from it and will have more time to set aside sufficient funds to cover your tax bill and to manage your cash flow.
If you file at the last minute, you might find that you can not pay the due amount to HMRC, and that’s where you start running into interest and late payment penalties.

Tax refunds are expedited…

If you are due a repayment, it’s in your best interest to have your self-assessment completed early in the tax year. HMRC are less busy processing returns and so you should receive any refund fairly soon after submission.
Unlike the tax payment deadline below, HMRC do not wait until 31st January to refund you – and surely that money is better in your bank account than HMRC’s!

… but tax payments are not

Even if you file your tax return early, you are only obliged to pay any tax due by the normal deadline. For the 2016-17 year any tax payments due will be payable on or before 31st January 2019, less any payments you have made on account in January and July 2018.

Be a tortoise not a hare!

A lot can be said for taking your time to do things properly. Rushing your tax return results in errors and omissions that may lead to penalties. Leaving plenty of time means you won’t be scrabbling around to find receipts and pull together the necessary financial information at the final hour.

Also, if your tax circumstances have changed in the last year, for example if you have losses or an additional boost to your income, preparing your return early gives you time to seek accounting advice and consider any tax planning opportunities.

If this is your first year of filing a tax return, you will have to register with HMRC and have a login for the Government Gateway. HMRC only send this by post, which could take up to 7 working days to arrive, so it is worth getting it sorted early.

Save money (and stress)

Don’t forget that Boox offer a complete self-assessment service and our tax team is now focused on preparing 2017-18 returns. You get the peace of mind that your return is being handled by experts and we’ll file it directly with HMRC, saving you time.

The pricing structure for our self-assessment is designed to save you money if you have your tax return completed early.

Get your 2017-18 return started by clicking the link below to download an engagement letter and self-assessment questionnaire. Once we have received completed copies, we will provide you with a detailed quote.

*Prices are based on your sources of income. You will receive a final quote to account for any further tax components before any work is undertaken.

Lynne Gowers Written by Lynne Gowers

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