Why you should complete your tax return now!

there is no better time to COMPLETE your personal tax return.

Girl carrying filesTempting as it is to finish the 2016/17 tax year by 'filing' your paperwork and receipts in a large envelope labelled 'January', there are many good reasons to file your Self Assessment tax return now, rather than letting the dust gather over the summer months. 

Promptly completed tax returns can provide improved cashflow and will definitely enhance your ability to plan your tax affairs for the 2017/18 tax year. Not only this, you can sit back and enjoy the summertime, smug in the knowledge that the 'demon' will not be awaiting you in your filing cabinet when the nights draw in and leaves start to fall...

what will you gain from FILING your tax return now?

Calculating your tax liability for 2016/17 soon will give you longer to plan to pay for any unpaid tax due by 31 January 2018. Not only this, if you are employed or in receipt of a pension and have underpaid tax by less than £2,000 your tax return must be submitted by 30 September 2017 in order to guarantee collection of the underpayment through your PAYE tax code in 2017/18.

Conversely, if you have overpaid tax for 2016/17 we can file your return and obtain you a refund sooner.

The actual tax liability for 2016/17 also forms the basis for payments on account in January and July 2018. Again, the earlier these amounts are known, the longer you will have to save for payments due. 

HMRC tax returnIf your Self Assessment tax liability for 2016/17 is lower than for 2015/16 we may be able to reduce the payment on account due in July to avoid you paying tax and obtaining a refund later. However, to do this we will need to prepare your return by about the middle of July. 

Although most of the tax planning opportunities to reduce tax for 2016/17 have passed, there remains the ability to carry back charitable donations to the previous tax year in certain circumstances.

HMRC state on their website that ‘You can ask for Gift Aid donations to be treated as being paid in the previous tax year if you paid enough tax that year to cover both any Gift Aid gifts you made that year and the ones you want to backdate. Your request to carry back the donation must be made before or at the same time as you complete your Self Assessment tax return for the previous year but no later than the filing deadline for the tax return, which is 31 October if you file a paper tax return, or 31 January if you file online.’ What HMRC does not mention are the opportunities this facility provides, particularly to higher rate tax payers and those with income in excess of £100,000. Please contact us if you would like more information.

So as you can see, you might benefit from dealing with your 2016/17 tax return sooner rather than later! Our Personal Tax team can take care of your tax compliance for you and assist with your tax planning for the new 2017/18 tax year.

For more information and assistance with your tax returns and tax planning, contact New Forest Tax Accountants, based in Queen Street, Lymington, on 01590 688838 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We offer a free initial consultation for new clients.

If you are not already receiving our FREE monthly eNewsletter, which provides tax planning news and advice tailored to your circumstances, sign up today on our website www.newforesttax.co.uk

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