Business development · 6 April 2020

NEWS: Don’t forget about tax returns during COVID-19

Tax return covid

Today, (Monday 6 April 2020) is the start of the UK’s 2020/21 tax year, and despite fears and uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, industry professionals are encouraging SME owners to consider submitting their 2019/20 tax returns at the earliest opportunity.

Research released by Informi, the website offering free practical advice and support for small businesses, showcased that last year 177,745 professionals failed to submit their returns on time.

If HMRC receives your tax return late, you will automatically incur a £100 penalty even if you have no tax to pay or the tax due is paid after three months.

“We know that many people required to submit their tax returns will be battling to keep financially afloat during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The priority should be for them (small business owners) to ensure they manage their finances as well as possible at this time”, said Steven Drew, spokesperson for Informi.

“However, as we have seen with the use of the past three years’ tax returns to help determine the size of support grants for those who are self-employed during the crisis, returns are of critical importance to the Treasury. Therefore, we would encourage those who can do so to submit their 2019/20 tax return as early as possible.

“As well as having the advantage of doing so during a typically quieter period at HMRC, potentially speeding up the process, they’re also more likely to have all the necessary information on hand and will allow themselves more time to deal with any problems, and avoiding potentially crippling fines, he added.

Small business owners may feel ill-equipped to submit their tax returns on time, considering the financial and operational chaos caused by the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, a general lack of financial expertise costs UK SMEs the equivalent of £2.9 billion due to issues such as tax miscalculations and unpaid invoices.

Meanwhile, according to feedback from SME owners, businesses may also struggle due to issues with budgeting

“Even for those who are prepared well in advance, submitting your tax return can often seem like a difficult and daunting process, however long you’ve been running a small business.

The new online courses will help small businesses owners to tackle their tax return with confidence and develop the financial skills they need to enable their business to not only survive, but thrive, and all small business owners should strongly consider taking them,” adds Drew.

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.


 
TAGS:

ABOUT THE EXPERT

Laura is the Junior Reporter at Real Business and Business Advice. She's the first point of call for any PR, business owner or industry insider looking to tell a story of entrepreneurial inspiration, retell some key advice, or a ground-breaking news story. She is the core ambassador for the brand(s) and can be found attending high profile events and meeting disruptive business owners across London – and beyond.

Work and Wellbeing