It’s Tax Time Again – Don’t forget to submit your return!
So it’s my favourite time of the year again, the time when I have to sit down for a few hours and work out exactly how much I owe Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in tax!
In the UK the cut-off date for submitting your tax return to the Inland Revenue is midnight on the 31st of January. If you forget to do it and you submit it after this date then you could be in line for a £100 fine. I’m usually not as last minute in submitting mine as I have been this year, often times I get it sorted out way back in April so that it’s out of the way but I was just that busy this year that I decided to leave it that month and it seems to have been continuously getting put off this time around.
I’m actually also considering reining in the help of an accountant this year too. I’m pretty comfortable with figures so I’m usually quite happy to sit down and work everything out myself but this year I’ve found that having an online business has thrown up a lot of questions about what expenses and capital expenditures are allowable and which aren’t, so I think a bit of advice from somebody with experience in the field might not go amiss. There is also the added bonus that any fees you pay to an accountant are also tax deductible and if you are thinking about taking on a mortgage I think it always looks better if you can provide a lender with a set of certified accounts.
If you are planning to submit your own return within the next couple of weeks and would like to find out more about allowable business expenses then the HMRC have provided some pretty handy online guides to help you out. You can view the guide on allowable expenses here and there are also online tools available to help you to work out the amount you can claim if you would prefer to use what they call ‘simplified expenses’ where, rather than working out every single individual expense you have incurred, you can claim a set amount for things like working from home costs and motoring costs depending on how many hours you spend working from home and how many business miles you have driven. If you think that this option might appeal and work better for you then you can find the calculating tools for those expenses here.
One final reminder is that if you are planning to submit your return online – which you now have to with the deadline for submitting it in paper form having passed on October 31st 2014 – it might be wise to log in to your account today to ensure that your account is accessible and you haven’t lost any of your passwords and details. At least then you will know that you will be ready to submit your return with no stumbling blocks just as soon as you have finalised your figures.
One definite goal for me for 2015 is to restore my old habit of getting my tax return in early as I hate leaving it until late in the day. This year will be different!