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A Christmas tree is illuminated as the traditional Christmas market opens at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, November 26, 2022. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Avoid a chaotic Christmas, sort your Self Assessment tax return as soon as possible

Lee Murphy, managing director at The Accountancy Partnership, said “Christmas is one of the few times of year where business slows down for almost everyone one, giving the nation an opportunity to switch off and spend time with family and friends. But with the Self Assessment deadline just around the corner, we suggest entrepreneurs file their paperwork as soon as possible to avoid entering the new year on the back foot.

“Last year, more than 31,000 people filed their Self Assessment tax return between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, with 2,828 people submitting their Self Assessment tax return on Christmas day itself!

“As the 31st January deadline approaches, it is important that people make sure they are submitting on time, but this doesn’t have to come at the expense of your Christmas break.

“The ongoing economic challenges are making running a business challenging. Ticking off another task on the to do list before finishing for Christmas will ease your new year workload. Our research showed that more than half (52%) of entrepreneurs said owning a business was more challenging than they expected. Whilst not everyone celebrates Christmas or has the opportunity to switch-off completely, the bank holidays across the period give most people the chance to take a well-deserved break.

“If you’re planning to get the help of an accountant to complete your Self Assessment, don’t leave it until the last minute. This is a very busy time for the industry, and there’s no guarantees they can fit you in before it’s too late.

“Submitting your return as soon as possible means you’ll receive any tax refund sooner, too, and it gives you more time to prepare, and avoid any late filing fines.

“Remember, the date you submit your Self Assessment doesn’t affect the payment deadline. Filing ahead of time simply gives you more time to budget for your tax bill which is very important as the cost-of-living crisis continues.

“Here’s a simple checklist of what you’ll need to submit your Self Assessment:

  • The details of any employment for the last tax year.
  • Any self-employment activities, including profit and loss figures.
  • Pension income or taxable lump sums received in the tax year.
  • Investments, capital gains and other income.

“Do yourself a favour this Christmas and avoid one extra worry.