Tax & admin · 30 January 2019

Self-employed reveal 5 disturbing things theyd rather do than their tax return

Is a night in a haunted house more desirable than completing your tax return?
Just one day before the self-assessment window slams shut, self-employed Brits have revealed theyd rather do almost anything than file their tax return.

According to a survey of over 1, 000 self-employed workers across the UK, undertaken by accounting software provider Intuit QuickBooks, half fear they havent filed their tax return correctly, while 40% find the whole process stressful.

With the self-assessment deadline for the 2017/18 tax year landing midnight tomorrow (Thursday 31 January), micro business owners and sole traders revealed the frankly disturbing things theyd rather do than tackle their tax return.

  • 1 in 5people (2.4 million) said they would rather give a speech to 100 strangers
  • 1 in 5people (2.3 million) would rather spend a night in a haunted house
  • 1 in 5people (2.2million) said theyd rather hold a tarantula for a minute
  • 1 in 7people (1.7 million) would rather get trapped in a lift
  • 1 in 8people (1.4 million) saidthey would rather jump out of a plane
Commenting on the findings, Shaun Shirazian, head of product, Europe at QuickBooks, said: The self-employed have more than enough to worry about between keeping on top of their cash flow, drumming up new customers and balancing their work and private lives. Self-assessment shouldnt be another stress to add to the list.

The research revealed also that as many as 110, 000 of the self-employed workforce are planning to submit their tax return to HMRC after the 31 January deadline. If you’re part of the 1% take a look at the government’s official late-submission penalties.

Penalties for late tax returns

Anybody missing the deadline will automatically receive a 100 fine. Crucially, even if no tax is owed, failure to submit a tax return will still result in a penalty.

  • A fixed 100 fine for all submissions after deadline
  • After three months, additional daily penalties of 10 per day, up to a maximum 900
  • After six months, a further penalty of five per cent of the tax due, or 300 (whichever is greater)
  • After 12 months, another five per cent or 300 charge (whichever is greater)
  • Additional penalties for paying late of five per cent of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six months and 12 months


Five last-minute tax tips to beat the self-assessment deadline



Praseeda Nair is 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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