The deadline for completing the 2019/20 self-assessment tax returns is fast approaching. Sunday 31 January will be the red-letter date in most accountant’s diaries, especially given a number of other compliance complications lurking in the undergrowth at the same time.
Added to that a recent Which? survey found that one in four self-employed workers plan to delay this year’s tax bill, leading to more negotiations with HMRC’s time to pay team. One in five survey respondents said they had already deferred July 2020’s tax payment and one in six said they either did not know how they planned to settle their tax bill or had not thought about it yet.
On 31 January last year, the volume of returns filed reached 702,171, the busiest day of the year. Things are even more difficult this year, thanks to the ongoing obstacles introduced by the pandemic.
The HMRC helpline has become a source of frustration for many accountants this SA season: “The whole of HMRC is not fit for purpose at present,” complained Jason Croke. “Anything to do with VAT registrations, VAT returns, letters and emails just ignored, phones not answering, the registration team message cuts you off after telling you they can’t take messages.”
The continuing outcry for an extension to the deadline has now moved on to an online petition.
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