HMRC aims to “go digital” in all areas of its operation by 2020 and is keen to encourage as many taxpayers as possible to submit their Tax Returns online.
This may be good news for some, but there will still be individuals who do not have, or do not wish to have, the technology to embrace this digital world. Some very elderly taxpayers for example may need a little help from a friend or relative to help them with their tax affairs. HMRC has acknowledged this and “trusted helpers” can now register online at https://www.gov.uk/help-friends-family-tax to help a friend or relative with their tax.
The deadline for submitting the paper version of an Annual Tax Return is 31 October and all other Tax Returns must be submitted online by 31st January. November is recognised as the start of one of the busiest times of the financial year for Tax Advisors and accountants (known collectively by HMRC as “Agents”). Of course, the onus is still on the individual to ensure that, if they do employ an Agent, their Tax Return is still submitted “on time”. If deadlines are missed, penalties are automatically charged and, on top of any tax liability, these soon mount up.
If you are considering employing an Agent to help you with your Tax Return, please do not leave this too late as the Agent will need first to register you as a client with HMRC. This normally takes a matter of days but at peak times, such as the last week in January, a backlog can occur and HMRC’s website has been known to crash under the pressure.
Although you no longer need specific software to complete your Tax Return online at HMRC, you do require commercial software to complete Trust (and Estate) Tax Returns.
If you require help with your Trust (and Estate) tax return or if your tax affairs are not straightforward and you need further advice, please contact our Tax Advisor, Joanne Beale, who will be happy to help.