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Don’t leave your tax return to the last minute, warns ICAEW

Tuesday 8 January 2019, If you are one of the 5.5* million people who have yet to complete their tax return, help beat those January blues by doing it now, and don't get caught by the 31 January deadline. ICAEW says don't leave it to the last minute or you risk a penalty.

 Anita Monteith, ICAEW Technical Tax Manager explains: “Leaving tax returns to the last minute might not seem like the end of the world to people who complete one every year, but if this is your first time, there are a few extra things to consider. If you haven't filed online before, you must allow time to sign up on GOV.UK and for your activation pin to arrive through the post. This can take up to 10 days. It may take longer than you expect to find and prepare all the paperwork. If you are an employee, you will need information your employer gave you many months ago such as your P60 and possibly a P11D if you receive taxable benefits such as a car. If you are self-employed, then you will need your business records, and if you receive a pension then your pension statement.

“There have also been some changes to how you can pay your tax. Since December 2017 it has not been possible to make payment through the post office and individuals can no longer pay their tax using a personal credit card. This may mean planning another way to pay, ahead of the deadline.”

By 31 December 2018, around 52% of taxpayers had already filed their returns and of these, approximately 5 million were completed online. It is now too late for most people to file a paper tax return. The £100 fixed penalty for not completing a tax return by 31 January is just the start, so it is important do it now.

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