Posted January 12, 2016

Leaving it to the Last Minute?

Last year 979,526 tax returns were filed on the last two days of filing (30 and 31 January), that is over 10% of the total number of returns submitted online. So why do people leave it right to the last minute?

It doesn’t seem logical, how many news stories do you read of HMRC’s portal freezing, and no wonder when they receive almost 10 tax returns a second at their busiest.

The penalties for late filing are severe – £100 for missing the midnight deadline extending to a daily fine after 3 months.

When asking around, the main reason why people leave it to the last minute is procrastination, they would rather do something else or focus on their business. This is closely followed by not knowing what to do, there are so many different types of taxes and allowances how do you know what to claim?

Submitting a tax return is mind boggling and overwhelming so the easiest course of action is not worry about it until it happens, right?

Well no, the longer you leave it, the more difficult it becomes – can remember what your business did with that refund 18 months ago, because there is no receipt? If you need help or advice, HMRC’s telephone lines have a queue so long that by the time you get through you’ve forgotten what you were calling about, and if you need expert help – well everyone knows accountants are busy in January!

So how about this for a New Year’s resolution, when April 2016 comes round, have a go at doing your tax return, you’ll find it takes you less time, you can get help if you need it, and the portal won’t keep logging you out! Also, if you are owed a refund, the earlier you submit your return the sooner you receive the money.

In the meantime, if you have left it to the last minute this year and need some help and advice, give us a call because we aim to submit all our tax returns in the month they are received.


The information contained above is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to amount to advice on which reliance should be placed. We therefore disclaim all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on such information. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the above contents.