January deadline: do not ruin your weekend!

05 January 2016

Gary Heynes

This week we learned that tens of thousands of people submitted their tax returns over the Christmas break (including a record-breaking 24,546 people on New Year’s Eve!) but for those who might have found other ways to see in the New Year, the deadline to file a return for the 2014/15 tax year is fast approaching. The abolition of tax returns has not yet happened and penalties still remain for those who miss the deadline.

Key tips:

  • Do remember that if you had income or capital gains during the 2014/15 year which are still to be taxed, you should have told HM Revenue and Customs by 5 October, but it’s not too late to do so but you will need to register as soon as possible. A penalty would be due if you miss this deadline but have not paid the related tax by 31 January 2016.
  • If you register, it will take about 10 days to get the user ID and password needed through the post. It’s up to 21 days if you live abroad.
  • Even if you have just one extra source of income or a capital gain which needs taxing, remember you will need to enter all of your income for the year, even from sources where the correct amount of tax has already been deducted, and deductions such as for pensions or charitable contributions. So make sure you have all of the information to hand or make early requests to your employer, bank or from other sources of income.
  • Remember to include all sources of income. Many will have claimed refunds from mis-sold payment protection cover which will have been repaid with interest, on which additional tax will be due if you are a higher or additional rate taxpayer.
  • Any tax due will need to be paid by 31 January too and, if the liability is on an income source, it may be that you also have to make a payment on account for the next year of 50 per cent again. So your tax payment may be higher than you expect. If the income source won’t be recurring, then you will have to claim to reduce any payment on account when filing your tax return otherwise you will face interest charges.
  • Penalties will be due on a late return, so it may be possible to file a provisional tax return if not all of the information is available by the time you need to file.

The 31 January falls on a Sunday this year. Last year, in total, 4.3 million of the 10 million self-assessment tax returns were filed in January, with the busiest submission time on deadline day being late morning with 32,000 tax returns being submitted (at a rate of 530 per minute). Don’t ruin your last weekend of the month delaying your tax return – best get it over and done with earlier in the month with so much to think about. 

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact Gary Heynes or your usual RSM contact.