Our experts give advice on tax returns, making tax digital and other tax deadlines that you should pay attention to over the holidays.
Corporate tax returns
'If, like most companies, your business has a 31 December year end, you have until the end of this calendar year to file your tax return for the year-ended 31 December 2017. You should already have made any associated payment if one was due. Don't risk unnecessary chasers or penalties from the tax authorities by forgetting to submit the return itself.' Jim Brown, partner
Tax return deadline - 31 January 2019
'For those in self-assessment, a much more important deadline occurs before the Brexit date. By 31 January 2019, anyone who doesn't have a valid excuse (and there are not many excuses HMRC will accept as valid), must file their tax return online for the year ended 5 April 2018. As well as the return, this is also the deadline for making payments of any balance of tax due for the year and for making their first payment on account due for the current tax year (if applicable).
'Failure to do so will result in an immediate £100 penalty, interest beginning to accrue on any underpayment, and an extension of HMRC's enquiry window for the return. Further penalties and charges arise latterly for continued failure to submit or make payment of tax due, so make sure you get your information to your accountant or put one of those post-Christmas days off to good use by filing it yourself.' Paul Haywood-Schiefer, tax manager
Maximising your Individual Savings Accounts ("ISAs") - 5 April 2019
'Although the tax year ends just a week after Brexit (year end is 5 April 2019), the last few days of the current tax year are unlikely to have people thinking about their ISAs. Therefore, it would be a good idea to get your plans in place now. The ISA allowance for the current tax year is £20,000 and individuals have the freedom to split this between a number of options including stocks and shares ISAs, cash ISAs, Help to buy ISAs (restricted to £1,200 for the first month and a maximum of £200 month thereafter), and a lifetime ISA (the maximum that can be invested in a lifetime ISA is £4,000 per annum).
'There are even innovative finance ISAs for individuals who are interested in peer to peer lending or crowdfunding of businesses. ISAs are not bulletproof and of course the value of investments can go up or down, but the benefit of them is that the income within them is tax free as is any capital growth, meaning these provide an attractive proposition to investors.' Paul Haywood-Schiefer, tax manager
Requirement to correct ("RTC")
'The original deadline for the correction of errors in relation to offshore income and gains under the RTC rules was 30 September 2018. However, HMRC subsequently amended the requirement so that as long as taxpayers had registered their need to make a correction by that date using a method agreed by HMRC they would have a further 90 days to complete a detailed disclosure. For many that means that their disclosures are due in in the period between Christmas and New Year potentially making it not such a festive break!' Fiona Fernie, partner
Making tax digital ("MTD")
'If you run a small business, with taxable turnover above £85,000, then for your first VAT return starting after 1 April 2019 you will need to file your VAT return using VAT compatible software. Don't completely panic, this doesn't mean you have to invest in new accounting software and completely change the way you are working. However, now is a good time to understand if your current software solution will be compliant or, if it won't be, or you are using an Excel based record system for example, how you can use some bridging software for submissions purposes.' Jim Brown, partner
For more information contact Jim Brown
, Fiona Fernie
or Paul Haywood-Schiefer