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Self-assessment due? HMRC suggest a casual approach to your tax return…


As we hear from many of the new clients who contact us, you will perhaps be in the throes of now frantically preparing your tax return for 2016/17 for submission. The upcoming deadline is looming on 31 January 2018. To compound the issue, the end of the month deadline also applies to your 2015/16 return!

At Marden & Co we prepare out client assessments well in advance and champion the HMRC message to complete your return ‘sooner rather than later’. This said, HMRC do not always offer the most sound of advice when it comes to running your business day-to-day… we focus on the things that count and understand that the reality is that you are busy running your actual business.

A recent HMRC release suggests a more casual approach to your tax return, and that you can complete it “…anywhere or at any time; on the bus, in a coffee shop or while watching TV, using your phone, a tablet or a computer.”

We’re not so sure.

Sure it sounds great, but once again the reality is far different. Completing a tax return correctly, comprehensively and without error is no mean feat. Sometimes even drafting a grammatically sound email whilst on the go can be a challenge, let alone having the attention and accuracy to avoid the numerous potential pitfalls of a tax return! If you did happen to make a mistake that resulted in an underpayment or incorrect declaration then you would face no fine so long as you could show that you took ‘reasonable care’ to complete the return.

Imagine that moment… HMRC question what care was taken to complete your return and your reply comes ‘I completed it on my iPhone whilst taking the 16:12 train to Strawberry Hill’ (or equivalent), we’re not convinced of an encouraging response from HMRC.

Our advice: why take unnecessary chances? A mistake could ultimately cost you in a penalty that could have been avoided. Where tax is concerned our advice remains – be sensible.

Better still, entrust your tax affairs to a knowledgeable and reliable partner to take care of your tax affairs comprehensively whilst taking prudent steps to ensure your returns are completed on time and with the maximum efficacy possible. Look at it as an investment in your business and your own peace of mind.

Not yet filed or unconvinced by your current service? Take advantage of our free account Switching Service and let us get your affairs in order

Alternatively get in touch to find out more about the comprehensive range of personal and professional accountancy and legal services on offer from Marden & Co – or call us on 01737 464 051 for a free and informal consultation.

After all, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.