Tax & admin · 28 October 2016

Business owners risk fines for missing 31 October tax return deadline

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By April 2018 the physical self-assessment tax return will be obsolete
Business owners and freelancers submitting a paper self-assessment tax return this year must do so by 31 October or face a 100 fine.

The penalty will be met by a series of further charges should business owners fail to submit the self-assessment forms in the three months that follow 31 October, HMRC has warned.

After the three-month cut-off, a penalty of 10 per day is charged. This charge will escalate until it reaches a 900 limit.

The deadline for those completing a paper tax returnis preceded by a Sunday a day when HMRC is unable to provide any assistance or contact.

By April 2018, the physical self-assessment tax return will be obsolete as the government imposes the complete switch to digital tax.

The government has offered a stronger incentive to those working for themselves to make the switch to digital tax returns by holding an extended deadline of 31 January 2017 for this year’s submissions.

In 2015, 89 per cent of all tax returns were submitted to HMRC online. However, research has shown that the government’s Making Tax Digital initiative remains a mystery for almost half of all micro business owners and sole traders.

A recent survey, conducted by cloud accounting firm FreeAgent, found that 43 per cent of small company owners had no idea? what Maxing Tax Digital was.

Commenting on the study, FreeAgent CEO Ed Molyneux urged the government to provide more clarity? on the shift to digital tax returns, ‘so that micro business owners feel fully informed and more positive about the benefits that digital tax can provide for them.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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