Beating the January Self-Assessment Blues

Ballymena Tax Expert advises as 31st January deadline looms.

As the online self-assessment deadline approaches, it can strike fear into the self-employed, landlords, contractors and company directors alike but all that is required is simple planning and practical advice according to Ballymena businessman Ian Aiken of TaxAssist Accountants.

TaxAssist Accountants in Ballymena, a local business providing accountancy services and practical tax guidance on personal tax positions and planning opportunities, are tackling this issue head on, and helping small business owners and self-employed individuals across Ballymena, Antrim and Randalstown and the surrounding area, get to grips with their tax returns ahead of 31st January 2016.

Ian Aiken, TaxAssist Accountants

Ian Aiken, who runs TaxAssist Accountants in Linenhall Street Ballymena, explains, “Once the new tax year starts, it’s only a matter of time before you need to dig out all those old invoices and expenses, dust off those ancient bank statements and tell HMRC your income.

“Self-assessment is not too difficult but it is certainly time consuming and I do understand that many just need a helping hand. Simple planning and the right advice can make completing a self-assessment tax return relatively painless. A self-assessment tax return doesn’t only apply to businesses. HMRC have identified that if you are a landlord, or considered a high earner, you too must also complete a tax return.”

HMRC take a tough line on carelessness and non-compliance, Taxpayers could even face prosecution if they are negligent. If you need to submit a self-assessment Tax Return it is crucial you get it in on time and free of any mistakes, as penalties are issued if HMRC deem you have not taken enough care when completing the tax return.

Ian continues, “Your self-assessment tax return planning must work towards the deadlines outlined by HMRC, otherwise you will receive a late filing penalty.  Therefore, planning is imperative, to ensure you allow enough time to check that you have all the correct documents and each page is completed accurately. Financial penalties vary upon lateness of the return but they can be as much as up to £1600.

“Whilst it is easy to make genuine errors, expertise and experience are key to completing a self-assessment tax return both correctly and efficiently, otherwise you are likely to run into long delays as you attempt to make your way through the assessment, and as a result you are increasing your chances of a late submission, receiving a penalty or worse still being investigated.

“Self-assessment may seem extremely daunting, especially for first timers, it can be relatively straightforward, provided that you have the information to hand. For those taxpayers who still have to complete their tax return by 31st January 2016, the message is simple – make sure you get practical advice and assistance and submit it on time!”

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