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It can be very easy to assume that just because something is given a deadline, that’s when it needs to be done. However, a deadline is the absolute latest time to complete an action, which means that it can actually be done well in advance. 
 
Take personal tax returns as an example – the deadline for filing your tax return is 31st January, which is why many business owners do it just a few days beforehand or even on the day itself. This is a risky approach to tax management, as there could be any number of obstacles that arise just as your tax return is due, causing you to miss the deadline. 
 
For instance, you could suddenly go through an extremely busy period, catch a winter bug and need time off, experience computer problems or a power cut, or simply lose track of time toward the end of January. The next thing you know, your tax return hasn’t been submitted on time and you’re landed with a £100 fine from HMRC. 
 
We don’t like seeing business owners struggling with their tax returns, getting stressed and ending up having to pay unnecessary penalties, which is why this blog has been designed to motivate you to submit your self-assessment tax return ASAP. 

When can I file my tax return? 

Many self-employed people don’t realise that you can file your self-assessment tax return as soon as the tax year ends. That means that if you wanted to, you could send everything to HMRC for the 2020/21 tax year as early as 6th April 2021 (and no later than 31st January 2022). 
 
Though we’re quickly approaching the end of 2021 and it’s a busy time of year, we strongly recommending filing your tax return sooner rather than later. That way, you can take a break over the festive period and celebrate the New Year without having a weight on your shoulders. 

When do most people submit their tax returns? 

Chances are if you were to ask people in your network when they file their own self-assessment tax returns, many would say they leave it until January (and most probably late January). Still, you certainly don’t have to follow the herd, so why not set a good example by submitting your tax return as early in the new tax year as possible? 
 
According to HMRC, in 2021 more than 63,500 taxpayers submitted their tax returns on 6th April, just as the new tax year was beginning. Whilst you don’t necessarily need to be this organised, it’s definitely a good idea to take a leaf out of their book by making your tax return a priority each year going forward. 

Why submit a tax return early? 

If being super organised isn’t enough of an incentive, here are some other benefits of filing your self-assessment tax return way before the deadline: 
It saves a lot of stress and is great for peace of mind. 
It allows you to tick a major task off your list and focus on other matters, such as growing your business. 
It can often help people to manage their tax bills and financial planning more effectively, as budgeting and forecasting become a smoother process. 
Even though you’re submitting your tax return early, you won’t need to pay it until the usual date. This means you have more time to factor the payment into your annual cash flow forecast. 
If you’re owed money by HMRC, you’ll receive it faster. 
You will never run the risk of receiving a £100 fine from HMRC. 

Need help with tax? 

Outsourcing your tax matters to TreyBridge Accountants means that you will never pay too much or too little tax or get in trouble with the taxman. To find out how we can support your business through affordable tax management services, call our Yorkshire office on 01482 235575, our London office on 0207 885 0605, or fill in the contact form below. 
 
Tagged as: Self-employment, Tax
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