Posts Tagged ‘acca’

ACCA calls for extension of tax return deadline

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants has called for the deadline for filing a self-assessment tax return to be delayed, due to a number of new measures that have been introduced since last year.

HMRC requires all returns to be filed tomorrow at the latest – but ACCA makes the case that the government should make special allowances this year.

The government is requiring many people claiming child benefit to make use of self-assessment forms following welfare reforms last year, meaning many people filling out the forms this year will have never done so before.

Those families earning between £50,000 to £60,000 can continue to receive child benefit, but they must complete a self-assessment form this year, and also in subsequent years in order to pay tax on the benefit.

The process is likely to be confusing for many. In addition, heavy fines and rates of interest apply to incorrect or late returns, even in the case of honest mistakes being made.

Another crucial factor in ACCA’s call for the deadline to be extended is that many more people have become self-employed since last January. With this rise in self-employment, there will be many more people expected to file returns for the first time who many also be confused by the process.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA’s head of taxation, said first-timers ‘are going to miss the deadline not because they have been putting it off, but because they are newcomers.

‘It’s not an easy form to complete, and often mistakes will happen because people filling them in don’t know for sure what should be included.’

He also stated, ‘HMRC has a common sense decision to make. Either it can stick to the deadline and penalise all those families and self-employed people who are struggling to get to grips with the self-assessment process, or it can do the right thing and give them a lifeline by extending the deadline.’

It is unlikely that the deadline will be officially changed at this late stage – though the government might be persuaded to decide whether to fine those who file late on an individual basis.

As of yesterday, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs was still waiting on some 2 million tax returns to be filed.

For those who miss the deadline, there will be an initial fine of £100 – even if no tax is owed. Starting from the first of May, fines will accrue at the rate of £10 per day for 90 days.