SMALL firms in Kirklees have been urged to make a New Year’s resolution to complete their self-assessment tax returns now – and avoid hefty fines.
Nick Brook, of TaxAssist Accountants in Huddersfield, said that although the official deadline for payment is not until January 31, many owner-managers caught up in the Christmas and New Year rush could end up paying unnecessary penalties.
“Christmas and New Year can be a hectic time for West Yorkshire small businesses,” he said. “We all want those repairs, home improvements and decorating done in time for Christmas, so local traders are in big demand.
“And for local retailers, Christmas gift buying and New Year sales can be one of their busiest periods.
“Before you know it, the January deadline for payments and returns is looming.
HM Revenue & Customs will levy an automatic penalty of up to £100 if your return is received late.”
Mr Brook warned: “If by the end of February you still haven’t paid your tax bill, you may face a 5% surcharge added to your bill.Š
“If after six months you have still not paid, another 5% may be added on top of the amount you still owe – while all the time the tax remains overdue, interest will be accruing on a daily basis, currently charged at 3%.
“Unless you want to needlessly lose a significant amount of your hard-earned income to the taxman, the advice is to keep on top of your tax return and payment deadlines.
“This will become even more important next year – as both surcharges and penalties are set to rise from January, 2012, applying to 2011 returns.”
Mr Brook, whose Lockwood-based business provides advice and services to more than 350 local small businesses, said the self-assessment payment deadline was the same whether taxpayers file on paper or online.
He said: “Local businesses should have received a self-assessment statement of tax owed, but if they haven’t they would need to work out tax due themselves or with their advisers, or by registering with self assessment online.”