As we approach the end of the tax year, you might be thinking about what you need to get ready. If you’re a contractor, something you may consider is getting in touch with a specialist accountant for contractors. Doing this means you will have a professional by your side who can help you not just prepare your tax-return, but also minimise how much you have to pay by making sure you take advantage of all your allowances.
The tax year
The standard tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April, every year. Your financial year may not have to match this. If you are, for example, a single contractor, it might be simpler and easier to use the same year. If you are you have used several sub-contractors then having a financial year that ends a little earlier might give you some additional time to prepare your tax return. In either case a specialist accountant will be able to advise you.
However, the tax year is not the only key date; it marks the end of the tax year, but there are other milestones you need to keep an eye on during the rest of the year.
There are three dates by which tax returns are due, when you need to get yours in will depend on your situation.
Paper returns — 31 October
If you are submitting your tax return on paper, then you will need to complete it by 31 October.
Collection through PAYE — 30 December
If you owe less than £3,000 and want HMRC to collect through PAYE, then you must submit your return by this date. This will only apply to those people who are employed as well as contracting, perhaps working part-time somewhere. However, it is a simple way to pay, since the amount owed will be spread over time and someone else — your employer — will do the work of making the payment for you. Again, it’s worth using a specialist accountant for contractors to advise whether this is a good option for you.
Final deadline — 31 January
The 31 January is the absolute deadline to submitting your tax return. There is always a rush of people doing this, and preparing a tax return can be complicated. As a specialist accountant for plumbers, electricians and plasterers, we can complete the process quickly, but try not to leave it to the last minute. HMRC often have no hesitation in levying penalties for late returns.
Sooner better than later
It might seem like the deadlines are a long way away but these may creep up on you quickly. And leaving it to the last minute can also cause problems in itself.
A good way to potentially avoid stress, avoid paying a penalty, and make sure you pay the right amount of tax is to engage a specialist accountant for contractors who will help you start preparing straight away and make the whole process as painless as possible.
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