Tuesday, 31st January 2017 is the cut-off date for those having to fill in Self Assessment tax returns. With the deadline looming, Paul Brides, group tax manager at Champion Accountants gives some last minute tips.

Who should submit Self Assessment?
HMRC usually deducts tax from wages, pensions and savings automatically but depending on individual circumstances some people still need to fill in a tax return from.

This is the case if you’re self-employed, the director of a company or a property landlord, for example. You’ll usually be aware if you fall into this category and will be likely to get nudged by your accountant in the lead up to the deadline.

Submitting Self Assessment
Ideally, people should have submitted their Self Assessment tax return by now. For those that haven’t, the deadline for print submissions has passed and their only option now is filling in an online form.

If you’ve filled in the online form previously, you’re registered and can go through the process as soon as you get a chance. If it’s  the first time you’ve submitted your Self Assessment online, you’ll need to get a registration code. This could take up to 20 working days and may mean that you’ve just missed the online reporting deadline as well.

If you’re able to proceed with the submission, make sure you have your records that will allow you to fill in the form correctly. You can do this yourself by following guidance notes for each section of the form.

If your business affairs have been quite complex, it is worth involving an accountant who will ensure all the necessary information is submitted and is correct. Mid-January submissions are very last minute and mistakes can slow-down the review process, meaning you could miss the payment deadline.

Paying your tax bill
Based on your submission, HMRC will provide you with a bill that you need to pay by 31st January 2017.

Failing to submit a tax return or missing the payment deadline will result in a penalty which starts at £100 but can significantly increase if the payment is more than three months late.