A quarter of SMEs miss self-assessment tax deadline

Recent research suggests that more than a quarter of the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) missed the 31 October deadline for filing paper self-assessment tax returns.

Moreover, the same study revealed that more than a third of these businesses delayed their financial administration to the last minute because they were in a mess with their paperwork. Late filers now face potential fines and must find a reasonable excuse that will satisfy the taxman to stop these penalties being levied.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) would prefer people to file their returns online, as the tax authority aims to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world.

There are now fewer than 100 days before this deadline is due on 31 January 2020, and as some small firms spend 120 hours a year finding and filing their financial paperwork, taxpayers should start getting their self-assessment affairs in order as soon as possible.

The research also found that one-third of SMEs believe that spending so much time on paperwork has prevented them from focusing on business growth, while a similar number said that doing financial paperwork caused them stress. Furthermore, it revealed that almost 20 per cent of SMEs failed to send all their tax-deductible paperwork to HMRC and have missed out on funds.

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