Almost a third (29%) of UK landlords are still yet to submit their self-assessment before the January 31 deadline, putting them at risk of paying more tax than they owe.
Research from GoSimpleTax – which uses artificial intelligence to aid clients through submitting their self-assessment – estimates that around 3.3 million people haven’t filed their tax return for the year 2017/18.
The figures align with HMRC’s findings last year, which found that two million people left it to January 29 to complete their tax returns.
Plenty of landlords are still set to leave it to the very last minute this year, GoSimpleTax says.
“We usually experience a sharp submission spike in the last hour before the January 31st deadline,” said Mike Parkes, technical director of GoSimpleTax. “Of our figures, the last person to submit on the day left it to 23:59:43 in 2018 – indicating just how late people are willing to leave it.”
Parkes says this is due to a combination of factors; people are strapped for time and are reluctant to complete – and pay – their tax return, meaning they avoid it for as long as possible. However, leaving it to the last minute can cause further stress and monetary issues for landlords.
He explained: “There are a number of reasons that dwelling on a tax return can create headaches. Rushing through the process can mean that mistakes are made, leading to costly fines.”
“For example, you can be penalised up to 30% of tax owed, if careless errors are submitted. On the flipside, an oversight could even lead to an overpayment of tax – money which is better in your pocket.”
Forward planning is hugely beneficial, according to Parkes. This means that business owners can take advantage of all the ways to be tax-efficient, such as claiming expenses on travel.
He added: “There’s not much time left, but our advice is not to panic. Those yet to submit should set some time aside to go through it without having to rush.”
“And an accountant isn’t imperative. There’s software which is slick, intuitive and can save people time, stress and money.”