What To Do If You Didn't File Your Tax Return On Time

Tax return

Filing a tax return is a duty that comes with being a sole trader or self-employed individual. However, life can get hectic, and sometimes deadlines slip through the cracks. If you’ve missed the deadline for submitting your self-assessment tax return, it’s crucial to act swiftly to mitigate any potential penalties and ensure you’re back in good standing with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). This article is tailored specifically for business owners who find themselves in this predicament, offering guidance on the next steps to take.

We’re Joanna Bookkeeping, an Oxford-based team of professional accountants helping ambitious SMEs maximise their potential by providing effective accounting and bookkeeping services.

It’s our mission to help your business comply with all of its tax-related obligations, and if you’re not based in the Oxford area, don’t worry! We’re fully digital and offer services to businesses all over the UK.

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Were You Required to Submit a Tax Return?

Understanding whether you were obligated to file a self-assessment tax return is the first step. Here are some common scenarios where filing is necessary:

➡️ You received a notification from HMRC indicating that you need to file a tax return.

➡️ Your startup’s earnings exceeded the trading allowance in its first year.

➡️ As a long-standing sole trader, you must file a self-assessment tax return even if you didn’t turn a profit in a particular tax year.

➡️ You disposed of assets that could be subject to Capital Gains Tax.

➡️ Your total taxable income surpassed £100,000, possibly from employment or other income sources.

Other situations requiring a self-assessment tax return include earning income from abroad that you need to pay tax on in the UK, having a partner who receives Child Benefit and your income is over £60,000, or if you’re a higher or additional rate taxpayer receiving savings or dividend income.

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What to Do If You Didn't File Your Tax Return on Time?

File It as Soon as Possible

The longer you wait, the higher the penalties you might incur. HMRC imposes immediate fines for late filing and additional penalties the longer the delay continues. To understand the specific penalties you could be facing, visit Joanna Bookkeeping’s guide on self-assessment penalties.

Seek Professional Advice

Contacting a professional accountant is a wise step. An accountant can assist in preparing and filing your return accurately, potentially identifying areas where you can save on tax.

Why Acting Quickly Matters

The implications of not filing your self-assessment tax return go beyond financial penalties. Prolonged failure to file can lead to HMRC estimating your tax bill, which may not reflect the allowances and deductions you’re entitled to. This estimated bill, known as a ‘determination’, is legally enforceable, and you’ll have a limited time to replace it with an actual self-assessment to correct any discrepancies.

Missing the deadline for your self-assessment tax return requires immediate action to minimise the impact. Understanding your obligations and seeking professional help from an experienced accountant can make a significant difference in managing the situation effectively. Remember, it’s better to file late than never, and the sooner you act, the better your chances of minimising any penalties.

How Joanna Bookkeeping Can Help

At Joanna Bookkeeping, we understand that dealing with tax affairs can be daunting, especially when deadlines are missed. Our accountants are here to support you through the process, offering expert advice and services to get your tax affairs in order. Whether you need help filing a late self-assessment tax return or planning to avoid future issues, we’re here to help.

Give your business the boost it deserves with practical financial strategies and solutions that truly make a difference. Let’s chat about how we can help you thrive. Book a call with our Oxford accountant and let’s start this journey together!

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