Tax Returns Can Be Taxing!

Tax is the issue of the day for small businesses as the deadline for filing online tax returns is creeping ever closer.  However, HM Revenue and Customs are getting a little worried as there has been a huge number of online applications already and the deadline isn’t until tomorrow.

Brought forward a few months to promote online applications, the deadline for paper applications was in October.  It would seem as though the government’s plans worked and it has become apparent that more businesses than expected decided to wait until January to file their tax returns online.

Last year a grand total of 3.8 million applications were filed online, however, this number is insignificant compared to this years figures which have already seen 5.1 million applications being filed – and they’re still flowing in.

Talk about pressure…

Small business leaders are getting a little worried too and have asked HM Customs and Revenue to be a little “more understanding” over this years tax returns.  Small business leaders are claiming that the recession is to blame over applications filed after the deadline.

The Federation of Small Businesses demanded that the government body should be more flexible with small businesses in this difficult time and should allow for sickness as an excuse for missing the deadline.blog

If a small business were to miss the deadline then there would be a totally unhelpful £100 charge, not really something that many small businesses can budget for in the current economic climate.

The FSB are continuing the fight for small businesses.

John Wright, the chairman of the FSB, has hit out at the toll that the applications take on small businesses at a time when they must focus on survival.

“For small businesses, the self-assessment tax return is a very important task and in these tough times there are many reasons why they will need up until the deadline day to file their return.

The FSB continued to press on about the possibility of providing small businesses with an extra two days to allow for any problems that the applications might give to small businesses.”

Wright also expressed his concerns on HMRCs abilities to deal with the high number of applications.  “We urge HMRC to ensure they have the right resources in place to deal with the influx.”

HMRC site will be fine, apparently…

Still, HMRC are claiming that Wright has nothing to worry about when it comes to dealing with the applications and have released a statement claiming that they are “very confident” that the system will be on form.

However, HMRC’s claims aren’t going to relax many people as the website collapsed in 2008 and forced the body to extend the deadline by a day. 

It would be common sense not to leave your tax return until the last minute, although for many small businesses this will be the first time filing the application online and the best thing to do would be to make sure it’s done right.

Can you help?

Have you recently filed your tax return online or have some tips about how it can be done, then let us know!

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