Q: I have missed the 30 September deadline. What should I do?
A: Don’t panic! The filing deadline for self assessment returns for 5 April 2001 is 31 January 2002 and any outstanding tax is also due on that date. The 30 September deadline applied if you wanted the Revenue to calculate your tax and tell you how much was due in time for the 31 January payment date. In practice, the Revenue will normally still calculate your tax and let you know how much is due even after the 30 September deadline, but you cannot rely on it.
Q: Have I worried unnecessarily?
A: The 30 September certainly causes confusion and needless panic. Missing the deadline places more responsibility on the taxpayer, as calculating your tax liability these days is fiendishly difficult, even for tax advisers.
The tax calculation worksheet is a forbidding document and many find that working through it is perhaps about the most difficult (and depressing – particularly when you get to the end) chore that they ever have to undertake.
Q: So I need to calculate my tax – where can I get help?
A: Obviously you can use a professional adviser (such as a chartered accountant) who will bear the strain. Alternatively if you decide to go it alone there are various software programs available, which are relatively inexpensive and can be of assistance. Alternatively you can file over the Internet and advice on this can be obtained from the Revenue’s website (www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk).
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