London accountants
Frequently Asked Questions

Vortex Accountants, Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I miss the Self Assessment deadline?

If you’re registered for Self Assessment you need to submit a tax return by 31st January every year, even if you don’t owe HMRC anything.
If you miss the deadline, there are a number of fines and penalites that you will be charged:

  • £100 automatic fine for filing even a single day late
  • £900 in penalties that stack up over the next three months
  • £3,000 for each year you can’t provide the necessary records

There are a very small number of reasons that HMRC will accept as valid for  not filing your tax return on time.
If you no longer need to submit a Self Assessment Tax Return, it is vital that you or your accountant notify HMRC in good time before the deadline to be removed from the system.

When do I have to pay tax due from Self Assessment?

You must file your Self Assessment tax return for the previous tax year, and pay any tax due, by the 31st January.

You will have to pay a “first payment on account” on the 31st July, which is a down payment on your next year’s tax bill as estimated by HMRC. If this estimate is incorrrect because your income/expenses were higher or lower than estimated, you will either have to pay the difference or HMRC will refund you.

If you miss submission or payment by even one day you will incur an automatic £100 fine.

When do I have to register as self-employed?

If you are self-employed you should get yourself registered with HMRC as soon as possible after you start trading.

The deadline for getting yourself registered is 5th October in the year that you started your self-employment.  If you miss the deadline you’re risking penalties based on the potential lost tax.

What is a UTR Number?

A UTR number is your Unique Taxpayer Reference.

It is a 10-digit code that HMRC use to identify you or your business for tax purposes.
You’ll get a UTR automatically when you register for the Self Assessment system or set up a Ltd Company.

You’ll need your UTR whenever you’re dealing with HMRC or your taxes.
You can find your UTR number on any official HMRC documents, including:

  • Your SA250 “Welcome to Self Assessment” letter
  • Your Self Assessment tax return paperwork
  • Your notice to file a tax return
  • Your statement of account
  • Any payment reminders you get

You can also find your UTR number in your Personal Tax Account by logging in via the HMRC website.

What is the difference between a tax return and a tax refund?

A tax return is a form you use to tell HMRC about your income and expenses. They use it to calculate how much tax you owe or are due back as a tax refund.

A tax refund is money HMRC gives back to you when you’ve paid too much tax. There are several reasons why you might have overpaid, such as a change in income due to redundancy, retirement or a new job. There are also exemptions based on your personal circumstances. Some tax refunds can be issued automatically, but for others you have to submit a tax return to claim one.

If you aren’t sure, get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise based on your situation.

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