Tax returns and going digital

16th January 2019 | Blog

That time of the year – Tax Returns

We are fast approaching a tax return deadline – 31st January 2019. It is a time of year when accountants are busy and individuals that do leave it late are under pressure! No one wants to pay a lateness fee to HMRC.

It is therefore surprising to hear reports that HMRC has already sent out some self-assessment

taxpayers letters accusing them of not filing their returns on time and imposing a £100 penalty, despite a not reached deadline of January 31. HMRC has attributed the matter to a system error affecting tax returns not yet submitted online. It is not clear how many taxpayers have been affected by the error but a HMRC spokesman has indicated that “Nobody will be charged a penalty or additional interest due to this problem.”

Our best advice is to stay organised, submit information to your accountant in a timely manner and do query any penalty notices that appear to have been issued prior to the tax deadline.

Going Digital

One way to stay organised is to move over to a digital accounting application. We have written about this in previous posts and we are fast approaching the April 1st deadline where all VAT registered businesses need to submit accounts digitally. It’s not just the compliance deadline that should make you think twice, there are many positive benefits (automatic synchronisation with your bank account, better team working with colleagues or your accountant, quicker management of receipts and so on).

Here are some resources that will be of benefit to you:

  • Our video explaining the advantages of Making Tax Digital and Cloud Accounting
  • Our video expressing thoughts on Technology and Cloud Accounting

Probate goes Digital

In a similar vein, the system that processes probate applications has now gone digital. It is now possible to obtain legal permission to gather up and distribute someone’s assets online.

This move had been earmarked after an Office for Tax Simplification report into inheritance tax found that bereaved families often faced delays and red tape when winding up a person’s estate. Personal applicants can find more information at this government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/personal-applicants-can-now-apply-for-probate-online

We are, of course, happy to advise on all matters relating to probate, please just give us a call (link to contact page) if you would like any help.