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Deadline day is looming for self-assessment

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5 September 2019

Deadline day is looming for self-assessment

By Shona Duncan, senior tax manager

Business confidence in Aberdeen and the surrounding area has taken a battering as a result of the downturn in North Sea oil production, with many businesses directly and indirectly involved in the energy sector facing very challenging economic times.

But, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention and many innovators are finding new customers for their skills outwith traditional oil and gas markets. Recent statistics released by business growth agency Elevator suggest that the region has seen an increase in the number of new firms being launched.

Between April 2018 and November 2018, Elevator supported more than 5,300 business start-ups across the north east – a 43% increase in start-up activity compared to previous periods.

And, what’s more, once a business does start to grow and develop, the statistics show that the local five-year business survival rate outperforms those of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

If you’ve used the downturn as a springboard to launch your own business in the past year or so, then you need to be aware of a very important HMRC deadline that’s looming on the horizon. Saturday, October 5 is the deadline at which you must tell HMRC about a new source of taxable income for the 2018/19 tax year.

However, it does not only apply to new business owners who need to be put into the self-assessment system. The requirement is to provide notification on all taxable income and gains made during the tax year.

For example, if you made a capital gain by selling a property at a profit or if you have dividends in excess of the dividend allowance, then you need to advise HMRC about this. If you miss the October 5 deadline, then you may be at risk of paying a late notification penalty.  

If HMRC is not notified in time, ‘failure to notify’ penalties can apply. These are based on the tax due and unpaid at ‘due date’ – normally January 31 following the end of the tax year.

The size of these penalties depends on taxpayer behaviour, so it’s important if you have a good reason for missing the deadline, such as an emergency trip to hospital or a bereavement, that you tell HMRC. People who have a genuine explanation may win their appeal. 

If you were previously set up on self-assessment but HMRC notified you that there was no longer a requirement to tax return you, should notify HMRC of any new income or gains on which the tax liability has not been met by deduction of tax at source.

Many start-ups are content to take on the challenge of self-assessment on their own – after all, it’s just part of the excitement of getting to grips with a new business venture. However, we work with many business owners to ensure they are staying on the right side of HMRC and not falling foul of unnecessary financial penalties, using funds that could be better targeted elsewhere.

And, of course, getting expert help and support allows business owners to focus on the very reason they need to register for self-assessment – running their venture and turning a profit.

If you would like to discuss the forthcoming October 5 deadline and how it might affect you, please contact us to see how we can help.

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