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Although we are only just into the new tax year and it may be tempting to put off preparing your self assessment tax return until later in the year, the summer might actually be the perfect time to complete your tax return and get your tax affairs up to date.

In my first article since joining Hawsons as Senior Tax Manager I highlight the benefits of filing your tax return early with HMRC. This is particularly relevant as many taxpayers will by now have received a notice to file a self assessment tax return for the 2015/16 tax year.

1. Peace of mind

Submitting your tax return early gives you one less thing to think about and could give you peace of mind during the hectic Christmas (and New Year) period. Avoid the stress of last-minute filing by sorting it out this summer.

2. Avoid incurring penalties and interest

The deadline for filing is 31 January (or 31 October for paper returns); miss it and you’ll automatically be fined the infamous £100 penalty. Longer delays will result in further and more severe penalties from HMRC, so filing your tax return early will make sure you do not run the risk of missed deadlines and HMRC penalties.

3. Know what tax you owe and plan ahead

Filing your tax return early does not mean paying the tax that you owe at an earlier date. Find out where you stand at the earliest opportunity and give yourself time to budget for payment and consider tax planning opportunities. For example, it may be possible to reduce your July payment on account if your income has reduced. In addition, if the return is filed early it may be possible for tax owed of up to £3,000 to be collected through your salary or pension.

4. Get a quick tax repayment

If you are entitled to a tax repayment, you should receive this once your tax return has been submitted and processed by HMRC. It is therefore well worth filing your tax return early if you’ve overpaid tax as it will enable you to receive the tax repayment sooner. In addition, as HMRC do not deal with as many tax returns during the summer months you are likely to receive the repayment much quicker.

How we can help

Our experienced personal tax team can help you with the preparation and submission of your self assessment tax return. We can often save you a great deal of time, worry and money by taking care of your tax return for you. Please do get in touch.

More from our tax experts

You can find all of our latest tax articles and tax resources here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

Craig Walker is a senior tax manager at the firm. He advises on all matters tax related, both corporate and personal, including income, capital gains and inheritance. For more details and advice, please contact Craig on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.

Our offices

Pegasus House, 463a Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2QD

5 Sidings Court, White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5NU

Jubilee House, 32 Duncan Close, Moulton Park, Northampton, NN3 6WL

Sheffield

0114 266 7141

Doncaster

01302 367 262

Northampton

01604 645 600

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