While filing a tax return early might not be at the forefront of your mind when you have a million and one more pressing matters to attend to, it can actually put you in a very good position financially.
Presumably you want the help of HMRC to find out how much tax you need to pay. If you want this to happen, you need to make sure you stick to their allotted schedule. If you know you might not be able to remember to do this, make sure you get yourself an accountant to sort it out for you. This way you’ll be guaranteed to stay on top of your finances and tax requirements, leaving you free to deal with everything else going on.
If you’re rushing to meet the deadline, you may well end up making mistakes on the all-important form. If this happens, you’ll need to rectify it, and by this time, you’ll have missed the deadline. If you give yourself plenty of time, you can sit down and work through the form at your own pace, or supply your accountant with all the information they need.
Another important benefit of filing your tax return is that you might be entitled to a tax refund. The sooner you submit your information, the quicker the refund process will be if you are due any money. The tax office will be able to get this confirmed and sorted when it has relatively few other returns to deal with rather than when everyone else submits theirs close to the deadline.
The office will handle more and more tax documents the closer you get to the deadline, so it is far better to get yours in and ready early so that the process can move faster and you can beat the rush. This will enable you to better sort out your budget, as you will have more time to figure out your financial situation, putting you in a better position to manage your finances.
Remember that if you miss the deadline, you could face thousands of pounds in fines, so don’t put it off and end up in a manic rush to sort it out on the day. If you have an accountant, get all your information and expenses to them ahead of time so that they can file your return for you, and you’ll be able to relax, safe in the knowledge that your tax is being dealt with for another year.
Ruth Powers is a small business consultant who doesn’t believe anyone should be paying late penalty fines to the Revenue!