Contractors all over the country have been scared have been scared these past few weeks and not just for Halloween. The self-assessment deadline really seems to take its toll on the profession. There are many who are very good at their jobs and yet feel perplexed by this phenomenon and never really feel comfortable until this time of the year passes. It is quite understandable, because the HMRC has made it quite tough for contractors to miss their deadlines. The penalties for defaulters are enough to scare people, but the process itself is a very simple and co-operative one.
Contractors really do not need to concern themselves with too much of the details as long as they remember the deadlines. It is not a case of knowing the deadlines, but most of contractors are just too busy to remember the important dates set by the HMRC. As long as keep in mind the basic HMRC deadlines, you should be fine. The first deadline you need to concern yourself with has already passed. It was the one to register with HMRC for self assessment – 5th October. Then there are two deadlines for filing the tax return. The presence of two different deadlines for the same purpose confuses a lot of people and creates further disturbance, but it all makes sense. All of the government tasks take less times when done online, and the same logic applies here. There are two deadlines, one is for people filling the self-assessment and getting it delivered by post to the HMRC, and it is for the 31st of October.
The second deadline is for the ones willing to file the return online. They do not need to do it in October, and can wait till 31st January. It’s important that you register for posting the tax return by post only if you are sure you can make the 31st October deadline, because if you fail, you’ll get a £100 fine. Considering all aspects, paying the tax return online is not only easier, but also gives you more time o relax.
If you are a contractor and running your own company, messing with the HMRC is one of the worst things you can do. I’d strongly advise you against trying to play the system, and suggest following all of the HMRC guidelines to make not only your life easier and stress-free, but also give your business a better chance of growing.