Tax Advice

Completing your Self-Assessment before Christmas should be a priority

05 Dec 2017

Every year, over a quarter of people due to file a Self-Assessment tax return complete it in the final 4 days before the 31st January deadline, with over 5% of returns being filed in the final 24 hours.

However, leaving it to the last minute isn’t really wise as you never know what may come up to prevent you from completing it in time. With an instant fine of £100 if you miss the deadline, and daily fines of £10 (for up to 90 days) if you haven’t filed by 30th April – there are plenty of financial incentives not to be late.

Besides the obvious problems shown above, we at Accounts & Legal know there are a few more very persuasive reasons why you should complete your Self-Assessment before the Christmas holidays.


It gives you more time to save for your tax bill

There’s no getting away from the fact that we all have to pay taxes, so putting the task off is not going to make the problem go away. It’s much better to know how much you owe and then be able to plan accordingly. Christmas is an expensive time of year, so it helps to know what future liabilities you have coming up, and how much you have leftover to play with.

You might receive your refund in time for Christmas

We can’t promise that this will happen! However, if you are due a tax refund, wouldn’t it be lovely to have it in your bank account instead of HMRC’s? The sooner you provide all the information required, the sooner your tax calculation can be completed, and if that means you get a nice cash bonus to enjoy during the festive season, that will certainly be something worth celebrating!

You have time to ask for help if needed

Self-Assessment forms can be complicated, and we may need to talk to you to ask for more information in order to present all the information correctly. If you leave your Self Assessment until the last minute, there will be less time to sort out any queries, and you will be putting yourself, and your accountant, under unnecessary pressure to provide all the information in time.

You can relax over the Christmas break

There’s nothing quite like a looming deadline to take the edge off your holiday enjoyment. If you get your Self-Assessment filed before the Christmas break you’ll be free to relax with a clear conscience, to fully enjoy the festive season with the satisfied feeling of having all your tax affairs in order ahead of time.

You can start the new year free to focus on plans and objectives

January is the perfect time to step back from your business, to think about what’s working well, and also what you’d like to change. Visualising a successful year, and sketching out a plan to achieve it, is the most important thing you can do to bring success to your business. If you have got your Self-Assessment tax return out of the way, you will be able to dedicate time at the start of the year to planning your business success, rather than worrying about tax deadlines.

We hope you’re feeling motivated to try submitting your Self-Assessment early this year, to see for yourself how much better you’ll feel.

Keir Wright-Whyte


Managing Director

0207 043 4000

About the author

Originally graduating with a degree in geography from Edinburgh University, Keir claims that he was then tricked into becoming an accountant by one of the UK's top 5 accountancy practices.The deception extended to the usual training in audit and associated activities.

Keir subsequently worked in a number of advisory roles with clients including in the energy trading, pharmaceuticals and financial services sectors.

He loves working at Accounts & Legal because of the variety of work and clients, the excellent team ethos and morale, the importance placed on genuinely helping and being useful for clients and because he believes what he does matters to clients and helps the firm.

Keir's primary role is to ensure that new clients with complex businesses or needs are on-boarded in the best way and he is a "trouble shooter" both for clients and where complex issues arise internally. He also helps the accounting teams strive to improve what we do for clients, whether processes or services.

When not debiting or crediting, Keir has a penchant for fixing old buildings, skiing, surfing and cycling.


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