In a statement released by HMRC last month:
A total of 6,429,899 people filed online by the 31 January deadline three quarters of all returns submitted. This represents an increase of nearly 12% on the 2009 total, when around 5.8m people filed online by 31 January.
So what happened to the other 2,570,101 tax returns issued by the tax office? Are taxpayers avoiding sending their returns in or do they need help?
As the UK starts to emerge from the credit crunch, individuals are still hypersensitive to their disposable cash (if any). The age old saying that the pennies look after the pounds couldnt be more pertinent. Never before has the entrepreneurial spirit been so active in society as more and more individuals look for a second income to maintain their lifestyle. Is it these taxpayers that still need to submit their returns?
For those self employed taxpayers earning an extra income, one key concern is how to stay on top of what is owed to HMRC. In the past this wouldve been brushed under the carpet and a hefty fee paid to an accountant at the end of the tax year when a shoebox of paperwork is slipped through his post box. This can become time consuming, tedious and expensive!
What is needed is a system that allows the individual to manage their tax affairs in one place, a system with 24/7 access which wont break the bank in fees.
There are tons of so called accountants out there trying to get their piece of the self assessment pie, but one service that stands out is Selfassessmentguide.com.
Selfassessmentguide.com is an online service which has been built around the core idea of bringing together managing your extra income, while at the same time, managing how much to set aside for HMRC at the end of the tax year. How much to put aside for the tax man is a different answer for every self employed taxpayer, and often comes with a very nasty surprise if not managed properly!
Selfassessmentguide.com also give the individual access to an ICAEW registered accounting firm to assist them with their self assessment tax return each April.
Neil Lennon, director of Selfassessmentguide.com, says Traditionally self employed individuals keep track of their income and expenses in excel and then meet with an accountant at the end of the tax year. This is inefficient and often very expensive. There are some online solutions out there, but we have found that many are simply glorified excel spreadsheets that do not provide the year end tax provisions as well as helpful management functionalities thats where were different.
If an individual decides to go fully self employed or has additional income, theyll need to know their tax obligation with HMRC at the end of the tax year. The individual is required to register as self employed with HMRC within 3 months of starting to receive income. They need to keep concise records of all income and expenses to submit their self assessment tax return to HMRC after 5 April.
More information on being self employed can be found on the HMRCs website, www.hmrc.gov.uk.