Share this content

31 January 2015- tax return deadline conumdrum

31 January 2015- tax return deadline conumdrum

I do a few tax returns as I go along.

Accounts complete, tax return(s) finished as part of the process; off goes the CT600 etc.

I've carried out some subcontract work during various post January gloom periods and can never understand how the panick ever came about. Hundreds of tax returns to complete in a few weeks.

Some practitioners seem to show signs of stress and high blood pressure during that time. Why?

OK leave some things until later if there is some sort of investigation going on.

The whole thing is a bit of a mystery to me.

Anyone got any instinct about what is going on here?


Please login or register to join the discussion.

08th May 2014 08:43


The answer is simple. No matter how many times you remind them or prod them, there are clients who will leave bringing their stuff in until the last minute. There are various ways to encourage them not to do that (increased prices in January being a popular one), but you will still find many only prompted by the letter from HMRC that warns about fines. Yes, even if you have been warning them about those same fines for months

So it is almost certainly not a case of the practitioners you work with leaving things until later. No-one with any sense deliberately causes themselves stress. You're not showing a lot of respect for the people providing you subcontract work in thinking otherwise.

Thanks (3)
08th May 2014 09:34


If I had my way, all of my clients would get all of their records to me by October at the latest.  But some just can't do it until it is urgent.  It does not matter how much I ask, beg plead or go blue in the face.  They see it as some kind of game I think, and I can't change them.

So I have stopped stressing about it and just tell them I am not doing overtime in Jan and if it is late then they will have a penalty.

January is still awful, but I have stopped worrying about other people's penalties due to their own incompetence.


Thanks (2)
08th May 2014 09:20

I think the difference is

You say you do 'a few' tax returns.  I imagine 'a few' is easy to manage and you can get the info in quite easy.

When a few becomes, 150, 250 etc. it proves very difficult to get all of this info in a reasonable time frame.

I don't think your smugness will have you many admirers on this site though.

Thanks (5)
08th May 2014 11:15


That's a bit harsh. I was only asking a simple question about why some us get tortured in January.

Thanks (0)
08th May 2014 11:19

I think

that whenever our dear clients bring the records to us we feel an obligation to get the return in by the deadline.

Thanks (0)
08th May 2014 11:23

Reread your words

The reason you come across as smug is that you did not just ask the question.

You talk about doing a few tax returns and just getting everything done. You then go on to profess confusion on why the practitioners you do subcontract work for have a January rush. The obvious implication is that if practitioners just got on with things like you do they wouldn't have the January rush. Whether you intended it to or not, the message is that you think yourself to be superior for not having a January rush. The truth of the matter is, as has been pointed out, dealing with a few returns and dealing with a large portfolio of clients are two very different things.

Thanks (2)
10th May 2014 13:05

Smug from W Hampstead

What difference does it make if a few is a few hundred or a few thousand? There is a limit to what can be done in a few weeks in January.

May I be one of the first to wish you a happy and healthy new year for 2015.

Thanks (0)
08th May 2014 11:28

Mostly it's down to the clients. Either they leave it late or the ones that are more obliging often provide incomplete information. The subsequent to-ing and fro-ing can kill their initial enthusiasm.

Don't be offended, but you're a bright guy, didn't it occur to you that it might be the client driving this?

Thanks (3)
09th May 2014 09:13

It's very difficult to get a tax return done before January when you only get the records on 28 January. And even if it isn't done before the end of January it still has to be done sometime.

Thanks (0)
09th May 2014 09:30

be grateful

that these periods exist...if the clients behaved themselves and brought in work on a steady basis throughout the year there would be no need to get a sub contractor in.

Thanks (0)
Share this content