April is a busy time for tax accountants and HM Revenue and customs, and today the financial year 2011/2012 ended. That means that it’s time to get on that tax return and get filed as soon as possible! Though there’s a bit of time before the deadlines, it’s worth having a think about what needs to be done.
Getting it in on time
The deadline for paper returns, which many people still prefer, is 31 October 2012 and the deadline for electronic submissions is 31 January 2013. If you think that you’re owed any money, the sooner you get your return in, the sooner you can expect your payment.
Preparing the Information
Most personal tax returns are a reasonably simple case of income and expenditure and you’ll pay tax on any profit you’ve made. You can include some expenditures in your taxable profit, your mortgage payments, landlord insurance and cleaning charges are a few, but you might need to think carefully before claiming any capital costs – that’s things like major renovations or restructuring.
Late returns and fines
There are penalties for late returns and HMRC’s penalty regimes are getting much stricter. You should expect to be charged about £100 for a return that is a week or so late and more if you’re later. Equally, you need to do all you possibly can to ensure your tax return is correct. Honest mistakes are always made, but deliberate or negligent returns will attract a lot of attention from the revenue and are likely to flag up big penalties.
Tax is something of a hassle for a lot of landlords and it’s always frustrating spending your time doing something that doesn’t really make you any money. If you have a particularly large portfolio it’s always prudent to get in an accountant to check your calculations and make sure you’ve got things right, but otherwise good luck and make sure you file on time!