24/01/2013 Leave a comment
Timing, the secret of comedy…
While David Cameron, speaking in Davos, is berating the big companies on evading UK business tax, here in the UK, HMRC is running a ‘zen’ advertising campaign to get us ‘ordinary’ people to complete our tax returns on time.
If you have any income that is not taxed under a PAYE scheme, or you are self-employed, are a high earner or need to claim work-related expenses against the taxes you pay, you need to fill in a Self-Assesment Tax Return. A full list of who needs to fill in a tax return is here. The penalty for a late submission is £100 so it’s best to get your return in, even if you submit it with estimated figures.
It’s useful to note, however, that the tax you owe is also payable on the 31st January, so if you have estimated your income and expenses, and you pay too little tax, HMRC will charge interest on any balance unpaid.
Also, if it’s your first time submitting an online return (it’s now too late to get a paper one in – you’ll pay the penalty if you do), you’ll need an access code sent to you by HMRC after you’ve registered online. This can take 7-10 days. It’s now 6 days until the returns are due in, so time is of the essence here. But, in a concession to first-timers, the tax office told me personally that they will not issue fines for late returns for anyone who signs on (for the first time) before 31st January, and gets in their return before 14th February.
You still need to pay your taxes by the 31st of January, the tax man told me.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch – or coffee.