Probably the last thing you want to think about now is your 2019 Self Assessment tax return, especially if you didn't get around to the 2018 one until January and are still recovering from the last minute panic. Nevertheless, you did better than the 750,000 people who missed the deadline completely.
Tax returns can sometimes be moved to the bottom of your to-do list until you can't ignore them any longer. However, now the end of the tax year on 5 April has passed, there are a number of practical reasons why it makes sense to start preparing for 2019 in advance.
One of these is funding the payment of your tax bill. Although you may file your Self Assessment tax return early, any balancing payment won't be due for payment until 31 January 2020. This gives you plenty of time to budget for outstanding tax and not end up scrambling to allocate the money at the last minute.
Another very important point is if you have any questions you need to raise with HMRC prior to filing, it's sensible to do this well ahead of the deadline. On 2 January this year HMRC was still waiting for 5.5 million self assessment returns, many of these delayed by people trying to resolve issues before they file. It's common knowledge the HMRC helplines are completely overwhelmed with enquiries between Christmas and 31 January, and if you don't want to become an expert on whichever hold music is currently being used, it's better to get your query in as far ahead as possible.
On a more positive note, once you have filed your Self Assessment you may find you are owed a tax refund. HMRC will let you know straight after you have filed, and the money should be refunded within a few weeks. If you have filed it early, this can help your cash flow and mean you are better able to plan ahead.
Finally pressing the button on your tax return is a huge weight off your shoulders. So if you left your 2018 Self Assessment until the last minute and it was on your mind over the Christmas holidays, think about being extra efficient and sort out your 2019 return now. Here at Perrys, our friendly and expert team will be delighted to help you get ahead.
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