Self Assessment tax return forms explained
SEISS was introduced by the government as a way to ensure self-employed people were supported throughout the pandemic. The scheme initially came in the form of two grants which covered average trading profits to provide Britons with a helping hand. However, as the effects of the pandemic continued, the government was forced to extend further assistance to self-employed people.
This has been achieved through the third and fourth SEISS grant, providing support which covers November 2020 to April 2021.
Applications for the third grant opened on November 30, 2020, leading many to flock to the HMRC website to take advantage of the support measure.
Now, self-employed third grant applicants are being urged to go a step further, completing their Self-Assessment tax return forms early.
Robert Salter, a tax service director at Blick Rothenberg, stressed the importance of a prompt tax return.
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He explored the benefits such an action could create for many self-employed people impacted by the pandemic.
He said: “There is a natural tendency to put off tax returns – even more so this year with COVID, but there are a number of advantages that can arise from finalising the returns as quickly as possible.
“If you have overpaid tax for the 2019/20 tax year because of payments on account arising from your 2018/19 tax return submission, the quicker you do the tax return, the quicker you might be able to get a tax refund from the Revenue.”
However, Mr Salter highlighted how an early tax return may also help with other government support aside from SEISS.
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He stated an early tax return may be able to assist people in evidencing any claims for COVID related grants.
Furthermore, as many have been excluded from government support due to a lack of eligibility, an early tax return may even help their case for receiving support.
Mr Salter added: “There may even be a benefit in filing the tax return promptly for those self-employed business people who have previously been ‘left behind’ by the SEISS scheme and have received no funding.
“By ensuring that their tax return is filed on a prompt basis, it is just possible that this will put additional pressures on the government to provide some genuine support from such ‘left behinds’.
“This pressure will only grow, if as is possible, HMRC needs to extend the SEISS grants into the 2021/22 UK tax year.”
While Mr Salter said tax returns are not always top of the agenda for self-employed people, they have potentially never been so important.
He concluded by stressing taking action now could leave people in a far better situation to benefit later down the line.
The deadline to complete online Self Assessment tax returns for the 2019/20 year is January 31, 2021.
This can be achieved through the government’s online portal, with payments able to be made through Direct Debit, bank transfer, or debit or corporate card.
Those who are completing a tax return for the first time will need to register for Self Assessment.
HMRC’s Interim Director General of Customer Services, Karl Khan, recently commented on the upcoming self-assessment deadline.
He said: “The vast majority of Self Assessment customers complete their tax return by the January 31 deadline, but you don’t need to wait until January; you can send it back now and get it out of the way.
“HMRC is determined to help customers during this difficult time.
“We know many customers will have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, or will need help to spread the cost of their tax bill.”
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