Are You Prepared for the Tax Return Deadline?

Tax Return Deadline

With the deadline for tax returns swiftly drawing closer and closer, many sole traders, especially those that are newly self-employed, will be looking to simplify the Self Assessment procedure.

Here at Hurren Accountants, we assist a number of self-employed professionals from across a variety of sectors to make accounting and the tax return process that bit easier – and with fines for late tax returns into their hundreds, it certainly pays to get it right first time! Check out the following guide to tax returns and ensure your return is filed properly and on time.

Registering for Self Assessment

If you aren’t familiar with tax returns then at first glance the Self Assessment procedure can seem complicated and rather daunting, however, with the right know-how you can approach your deadline with a correctly completed form and avoid any penalties. Before sending your tax return, either online or via paper form, you must register for Self Assessment.

Registering for Self Assessment is easy, simply visit and follow the steps, you will then receive a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). Please note, you must register for Self Assessment by 5th October following the end of the tax year.

Do I need to complete a tax return?

Anyone who is a sole trader, partner in a business or a company director must register for Self Assessment and complete a return following the end of every tax year.

Dates for your diary

Tax returns must be filed on time and correctly by specific deadlines, which if missed will incur a penalty. Online tax returns can be submitted at a later date, whilst HMRC requires more time to process paper forms.

The deadline for paper tax returns is 31st October 2014, whilst sole traders or business owners looking to submit online should do so by 31st January 2015. You have until midnight on both of these dates to submit your return. HMRC sends each and every sole trader and business owner a letter, usually in April or May, detailing the specific deadlines for the year ahead.

There are a selection of exceptions when it comes to these deadlines, for example, those looking for HMRC to collect tax via their PAYE code have an earlier deadline for online submissions. Whilst trustees must complete their return using the paper form as this cannot be processed online.

What happens if I miss the deadline?

Missing your deadline will incur various penalties depending on how late it is submitted. A penalty of £100 must be paid if a return is up to three months late, whilst you may have to pay up to £500 in fees if a return is filed more than three months late.

You don’t have to face Self Assessment alone, contact the tax return specialists at Hurren Accountants today on 0191 251 7599 for help with your sole trader accounts.