10 reasons to get your tax return done early

The deadline to submit your tax return online is 31st January 2024.

Whilst this may seem like you have plenty of time, everyone is always so shocked at how quickly it comes around. As accountants, we always try to encourage our clients to start preparing for their tax return as soon as possible, and to think about submitting their return before Christmas at the latest.

By submitting your return early, not only will it bring you far less stress, but there are many other benefits for your business too. Here’s 10 of the most important reasons you should get your tax return done early.

1) Get your refunds quicker
Do you think you may be due a tax refund this year? By submitting your return early, you will receive your refunded tax sooner. Give your cashflow a nice end of year boost.

2) Give yourself time to save
Tax bills can be a big expense for a business. By getting your return finalised early, you will be aware of your tax liabilities much sooner, meaning you have time to plan and save to be able to cover the cost.

3) Avoid penalty charges
HMRC can fine you if you don’t submit your return or pay your tax bill on time. By making sure you have submitted it in plenty of time, you are removing the potential of this happening. Tax investigations are also more likely if you are a late submitter or payer. Read the latest late penalty charge information here.

4) Apply for enhanced payment scheme
For some individuals that meet certain criteria, there may be an option to apply for the enhanced payment scheme. This allows you to spread the cost of your tax bill by splitting it into 12 monthly payments.

5) Pay via your tax code
This is a great option for an individual that is both self-employed and employed. If you submitted your return by the end of October, 2023 you may be able to get HMRC to deduct the tax payments straight from your PAYE payments, up to a limit of £3,000. If you missed that deadline this year, make sure you make a note for next year!

6) Make amends
If you make a mistake on your tax return, you have until 31st January the following tax year to amend it. By getting it submitted earlier, you will have a longer time frame to make those amends, if necessary.

7) Accurate claiming for tax credits
If you claim tax credits, you will need to renew your claim by the 31st July. Although you’re allowed to submit an estimate to the tax credit office, it’s preferable to submit actual figures.

8) Tax planning with your spouse
By having a clear overview of your financial situation, you are able to carry out tax planning to ensure you are being as tax efficient as possible as a couple. This is particularly relevant when one spouse is a higher rate tax payer, and the other spouse is a basic rate tax payer or lower.

9) Easier business decisions
Having your tax return done and finalised leaves you in a much better decision to make important business decisions, especially financially. You will have a much clearer overview and understanding of the cash flow of your business.

10) Avoid the January rush
If you have ever tried to contact HMRC, you will understand the sheer volume of calls they receive on an hourly basis. Throughout January, this can be extensively worse. Save your time by getting started now. You will also really help our team!

If you are unsure on how to go about submitting your tax return, please call Turas Accountants on 01952 882434 or email at [email protected]