As the end of the tax year approaches, many individuals find themselves facing the looming deadline for filing their self-assessment tax return with HMRC. The process can be daunting, but there are significant advantages to submitting your tax return early, extending beyond the mere avoidance of late submission penalties. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of early filing and shed light on the potential pitfalls associated with late submissions.

Timely resolution of queries

One compelling reason to file your tax return early is the time limit imposed by HMRC for raising
enquiries. Once you’ve submitted your return, HMRC has a window of 12 months to scrutinise and
potentially raise any queries. By filing early, you expedite this process, giving you the peace of mind
of knowing whether HMRC has any concerns sooner rather than later. Timely resolution of enquiries
allows you to address any issues promptly, avoiding protracted investigations that could disrupt your
financial stability.

Peace of mind over the festive season

Filing your tax return early doesn’t just benefit your financial planning; it also provides peace of mind
during the festive season. As others navigate the stress of last-minute submissions, you can enjoy the
Christmas break with the confidence that your tax affairs are in order. Eliminating the looming
deadline from your year-end checklist allows you to focus on celebrating the season with your
nearest and dearest without the worry of incomplete paperwork hanging over you.

Establishing a positive reputation with HMRC

Late submissions and delayed tax payments may not only trigger financial penalties but could also
raise red flags with HMRC. Individuals with a history of habitual late filing may be viewed with
suspicion, leading HMRC to question the accuracy of their returns. By consistently filing early, you
signal to HMRC that you are proactive and diligent in your financial responsibilities, potentially
reducing the likelihood of unwanted enquiries or investigations.

Access to better tax advice

Accountants play a crucial role in ensuring your tax return is accurate and optimised for your financial
situation. However, in the rush leading up to the 31st of January deadline, accountants are often
inundated with requests, leading to time constraints and increased pressure. Filing your tax return
early allows your accountant the luxury of time to meticulously examine your accounts, providing
you with more comprehensive and tailored tax advice. Submitting all your income information to
your accountant early can result in potential tax savings and a more strategic financial plan.

The sting of late submission penalties

On the flip side, the penalties for late submission of tax returns are not to be taken lightly. HMRC
imposes standard penalties, including an immediate £100 charge for late submissions. As the delay
persists, additional penalties accrue, with charges reaching £10 per day after the return is three
months late, a higher charge at six months and a further penalty at 12 months.

Late payment interest

Late payments of tax also attract interest, automatically charged by HMRC to compensate for the
delay in payment. This interest is calculated from the due date until the actual date of payment.
While this charge is automatic and cannot be avoided, it underscores the importance of timely
settlement to avoid unnecessary financial burdens.

Late payment penalties for income tax

For income tax, late payment penalties are structured to escalate the longer the tax remains
outstanding. After 30 days, a 5% charge of the tax outstanding is applied, followed by an additional
5% after five months (six months late) and another 5% after a total of 12 months late.
In conclusion, the benefits of filing your self-assessment tax return early extend beyond mere
punctuality. Timely submissions provide peace of mind, foster a positive relationship with HMRC and
offer access to more considered tax advice. As the financial year-end approaches, consider adopting
the early bird approach – a decision that could save you both time and money.

Why choose AF Tax Solutions Limited as your accountant for early submissions and exceptional tax efficiency advice?

At AF Tax Solutions Limited, we understand that navigating the complexities of tax returns can be a
daunting task. That’s why we’re here to not only assist you but also to advocate for the benefits of
early submissions and provide unparalleled tax efficiency advice. Here’s why choosing us as your
accountant can make a significant difference in your financial journey:

1. Proactive approach to early submissions

Our commitment to delivering exceptional service goes beyond meeting deadlines – we champion a
proactive approach to early submissions. As your dedicated accounting partner, we encourage and
facilitate the timely filing of your self-assessment tax return. By choosing us, you align yourself with a
team that understands the value of time, ensuring your financial affairs are in order well before the
deadlines approach.

2. Expertise tailored to your needs

At AF Tax Solutions Limited, we boast a team of seasoned professionals with a wealth of experience
in tax planning and compliance. Our expertise allows us to provide you with tailored advice that goes
beyond the basics. By engaging with us early in the financial year, you unlock the full potential of our
insights, ensuring that your tax strategy is not only compliant but also optimised for maximum
efficiency.

3. Early engagement, comprehensive tax advice

The rush leading up to the self-assessment tax filing deadline can result in limited time for thorough
examinations. By choosing us as your accountant and engaging with us early in the financial cycle,
you grant us the time needed to delve into the intricacies of your accounts. This early engagement
enables us to provide you with comprehensive and meticulous tax advice, identifying potential
savings and ensuring a strategic financial plan.

4. Navigate HMRC enquiries with confidence

Should HMRC raise any enquiries following your early submission, our team is well equipped to
navigate these with confidence. We will work hard to ensure that your tax return is accurate and
stands up to scrutiny. Choosing us means having a dedicated ally who will stand by you in addressing
any concerns raised by HMRC promptly and effectively.

5. Personalised service and client-centric approach

At AF Tax Solutions Limited, we pride ourselves on our personalised service and client-centric
approach. Choosing us means partnering with a team that values your individual needs and goals.
We take the time to understand your unique financial circumstances, allowing us to tailor our
services to best serve you.

To sum up, choosing us as your accountant is a strategic decision that goes beyond traditional
accounting services. We are your trusted partner in advocating for early submissions, providing
exceptional tax efficiency advice and ensuring that your financial journey is not just compliant but
optimised for success.

Call our experienced team today to ensure you get the best tax advice for your circumstances.