Four great reasons to file your tax return early

We often find that clients begin to show signs of stress when the Self-Assessment tax return deadline approaches.

This is just one of the reasons we recommend you file your return early, but there are numerous other benefits.

Here are four key reasons to consider submitting your tax return sooner rather than later:

  1. Avoid last-minute stress

As mentioned above, filing your tax return early can significantly reduce the stress associated with meeting the deadline.

Rushing to compile and submit your financial information at the last minute also increases the likelihood of errors and omissions, which can lead to penalties and additional scrutiny from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

By completing your tax return early, you allow yourself ample time to review your documentation, ensure accuracy, and seek professional advice from your accountant.

This preparation time can be invaluable, particularly if your financial situation is complex or if you encounter unexpected issues.

  1. Better financial planning

Submitting your tax return early provides a clearer picture of your financial situation for the year.

This information is crucial for effective financial planning and decision-making. Knowing your tax liabilities well in advance enables you to manage your cash flow and make better-informed decisions about investments, savings, and expenses.

Early filing also allows you to identify potential tax savings opportunities, such as allowable deductions and reliefs, that you might otherwise overlook in a rushed preparation.

  1. Quicker refunds and reduced penalties

If you are due a tax refund, filing your return early ensures you receive it sooner, further improving your cash flow.

Timely refunds can be particularly beneficial for reinvesting in your business or managing personal finances.

Conversely, if you owe tax, early filing gives you more time to create a payment arrangement with HMRC, helping you avoid late payment penalties and interest charges.

Early filing also reduces the risk of missing the deadline and incurring automatic late filing penalties, which can add unnecessary financial strain. Penalties and interest charges can quickly accumulate.

  1. Tax codes

The timing of your tax return has a major bearing on your assigned tax code, and therefore your eligibility for certain tax benefits.

Tax returns filed before 30 December have the option, in most cases, of having an underpayment of under £3,000 ‘coded out’ – meaning the underpaid tax can be collected over the course of the following financial year from your regular pay, as opposed to being collected all at once.

Filing a tax return also triggers HMRC to issue an amended tax code which can result in an underpayment less likely to arise.

The bottom line

To take full advantage of the above-mentioned benefits, you should speak to your accountant about preparing your tax return well in advance of the deadline.

For help with any aspect of your tax return, please get in touch with one of our team. 

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