Kent’s 86,000 self-employed workers are facing a fine of up to £1,600 each if they fail to file their self-assessment tax return on time.
With 12% of economically active people in the county aged between 16-64 years old currently registered as self-employed1, and a substantial chunk of those facing the daunting task of completing a self-assessment tax return for the first time this year, tax specialists are urging individuals and business owners to start preparing to file their returns as soon as possible.
Last year an estimated 700,000 people in the UK missed the government’s submission deadlines, which are scheduled as midnight on 31st October for paper returns and 31st January 2016 for online submissions, immediately incurring a penalty of £100 each. The fine, which automatically rises by £10 a day after three months if a tax return remains unfiled, could increase up to £1,600 if no tax is payable and potentially even higher if there is a liability owed.
Craig Harman, a tax specialist from Kent based chartered accountant, Perrys, said:
“Many self-employed people are unsure about where they stand in relation to completing tax returns, how they file a return or whether they should be submitting anything at all.
“Anyone who is self-employed, a business partner, or director of a limited company will be required to complete a self-assessment tax return. However, you may also be required to submit a return in a number of other situations such as if you are an employee or pensioner with an annual income of £100,000 or more.
“If you’re a trustee of a registered pension scheme or a non-resident company you will need to make a paper submission by 31st October – you will not be able to file online.”
“The rules and regulations relating to self-assessment tax returns can seem confusing. I would always advise that anyone who is unsure about whether they should be submitting a tax return or who needs help completing one should seek professional advice from a tax specialist or registered chartered accountant.”
Paper tax return forms can be downloaded from the government’s website www.gov.uk/self-assessment-forms-and-helpsheets
Craig is a tax specialist at Perrys Chartered Accountants in Tunbridge Wells www.perry-company.co.uk