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Don’t let points-based penalty debate stop you meeting October tax deadline, warns small business specialist

Small businesses across Yorkshire are being urged not to miss the October tax return deadline as plans for a new points-based penalty system are debated. 

Dave Forrester, who runs TaxAssist Accountants in Keighley, said: “Business owners who miss the October 31 deadline for filing paper self-assessment tax returns, will face a penalty of £100 even if they are only one day late in filing. The fine applies to late tax returns – whether or not there is any tax to pay, or you pay tax due on time. 

“The deadline for businesses and taxpayers who choose to file their tax returns on paper is 31st October, while those who file online have until 31 January 2017.

” After the initial £100 fine for late filing, penalties spiral in line with how late the tax returns are and after a 12-month delay hit a minimum of £1,600.  In some cases, business owners might be due a tax refund so the sooner they file, the sooner that money can be working for them in their bank account. 

“If taxpayers or business owners that have been filing their own paper tax returns miss the 31 October deadline, the best advice is instead to file their return online by 31 January.

“Here at TaxAssist Accountants, we can do this for you, as well as check your figures are accurate and that you have claimed all of the expenses and allowances you are entitled to. 

“Moving forward, local small businesses might have heard about plans from HM Revenue & Customs to move to a points-based penalty regime for failure to submit their tax returns on time, similar to the ‘speeding points’ system used for drivers.

“Each failure would attract points and penalties would only be charged when those points reach a certain level. But this proposal is only at consultation stage, so the old rules still apply and we don’t want any local businesses to get caught out.”  

TaxAssist Accountants Keighley is a local business, operating across Silsden, Crosshills, Keighley and Bingley, providing tax and accountancy advice and services purely to small businesses.

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