October 23rd, 2014

Six great reasons why you must submit your tax return early

Doing your tax return is the perfect job to put off to tomorrow. Nobody likes wading through paperwork and working out what goes in what box, what’s taxable – and what’s not (ok – we do).

There are some great reasons though for getting your return done early. Here’s six of them.

Cash Flow

If you’re due a tax refund then HMRC will pay it to you as soon as they’ve processed your return. But, if you owe them money the payment date is still 31 January. Win-win!

Nasty Surprises

The payment on account system can sometimes throw up some unexpectedly large tax bills. If you have a larger tax bill than you were expecting then an extra few months to sort yourself out could help save you a 5% surcharge due on tax still owed by 28 February.

Paper returns

Some people prefer to submit things on paper – especially if they have concerns over confidentiality or even a missing reference that could cause an electronic return to be rejected. You can submit a paper return by 31 October. After that you need to file electronically or, if you submit a paper return after 31 October you’ll have to pay a penalty.


The run up to 31 January is the busiest time for accountants and many firms charge a premium rate for tax returns that have been left to the last minute. Some firms can be so busy that they simply won’t be able to help you in January.

Paying tax through PAYE

If you’ve submitted your return by 30 December and owe up to £3,000 then you can opt to have it collected through PAYE – giving you much more time to pay.

Just Do It!

If you’ve got a tax return to do then it’s not going to go away. Even if you don’t see why you’ve been sent one you can’t just ignore it. The penalties for submitting a tax return late are eye watering and it’s easy to rack up fines of more than £1,200 if your return is late by more than six months. And nowadays you can’t get the fine reduced to the amount of tax you owe.

Jonathan Ford & Co advise a wide range of individuals owner managed businesses on how to legitimately manage their tax affairs. For a free consultation call 0151 426 4512 or email info@jonathanford.co.uk

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John manages a wide portfolio of owner managed businesses and oversees the smooth operation of the firm’s payroll department.

After obtaining his degree in mathematics from the University of Liverpool, John joined Jonathan Ford & Co in 2004 and qualified as a chartered accountant four years later. John likes to keep abreast of developments in tax and accounting and is responsible for the mentoring of junior staff.

Outside of work, John enjoys powerlifting and is a Liverpool FC season ticket holder.

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