Mark Lee reviews the history of the January rush and wonders if it will ever change.
Accountants are great adapters. This has been apparent to me ever since the introduction of self assessment and the 31 January filing deadline in 1998. Every time the rules change, accountants adapt. Some even plan ahead but the majority seem to just get on and cope with changes to the tax system as these arise.
How was it for you this year?
This January is the first time we have had an automated £100 late filing penalty even if there is no unpaid tax at 31 January. We also have a two-day concessional extension to the deadline – until midnight on Friday 2 February. This is to reflect the prospect of delays and problems caused by a strike by HMRC staff on 31 January.
I must admit that I wonder if HMRC’s computer will reflect the concession when it issues statements of account. Will the automatic £100 penalty charge be suppressed or will taxpayers need to appeal for it to be removed?This was why she enjoyed working in January. It was rarely too busy and all the work she did was already paid for, at double her standard rates. Even I might be happy working on tax returns in January on that basis.
What have your experiences been? Has 2012 been better or worse than in previous years? And what tips can you share to make life easier for others who have yet to find ways that enable them to avoid the January rush?
About Mark Lee
Mark Lee works almost exclusively with savvy sole practitioners who want more out of their practice. More clients, more money, more time, more satisfaction - or everything!
An accountant by profession, Mark moved away from the provision of professional advice in 2006. He is now a professional speaker, mentor, facilitator, author and debunker.
Mark Lee is a realist and regularly debunks myths and hype related to his areas of interest and expertise. His keynote talk for audiences of accountants is How to STAND OUT and be more than 'just another accountant'.
Mark is passionate about helping accountants generally so is a keen blogger and commentator in the accounting and tax press. He is consultant practice editor of AccountingWEB and has written hudnreds of articles here that have been viewed over a million times.
Check out how he could help you here: www.BookMarkLee.co.uk/savvy
Mark stopped giving tax advice himself despite being a past Chairman of the Chartered Accountants’ Tax Faculty. He is however Chairman of the Tax Advice Network - the UK's highest ranked lead generation website for tax advisers and accountants. The network also publishes a weekly practical tax update for accountants in general practice and full tax support, on demand too. You can also use it as a lead generation resource for local people seeking tax advice from an accountant.