Contractors: don’t get a fright with self-assessment

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Ghosts and ghouls aren’t the only things to raise their heads on Halloween, as 31st October is also the paper self-assessment deadline.

If you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, you’ll have to make sure your return reaches HMRC before this date, or you’ll end up on the receiving end of a £100 penalty. Don’t dive behind the sofa scared just yet, read on for everything you need to know about the tax return deadline.

Why are there two tax return deadlines?

Simple. One is for traditional types who prefer paper returns, while the other is for people who would rather file their tax return online. The deadline for that is 31st January, in case you were wondering.

What do I need to do?

If you want to submit your tax return by post, make sure it arrives at HMRC before midnight on 31st October, so you don’t get fined. To submit your return by post, you should have already registered with HMRC. If you haven’t, you’ll have to submit it online instead before 31st January 2016.

What if I can’t make the tax return deadline?

If you don’t think you’ll be able to post your tax return before the Halloween deadline, it’s probably best not to try. If you do and it arrives late, you’ll get an automatic £100 fine.

Don’t worry though, you can change your mind and submit your tax return online, even if you’ve told HMRC that you want to send it by post. You don’t even have to let them know straight away, but you’ll have to register ahead of the January deadline. It’s a good idea to do this a month beforehand so your activation code comes on time.

Need more help?

If you need a bit of help completing your tax return, contact your accountant.

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