Please Note: This Article is 7 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

As landlords you will be aware that the January 31st deadline for the annual self-assessment tax return and tax payment approaches. January is a busy month for tax accountants, so if you want tax advice or help completing you tax return, you need to act now.

If you have had rental income from property in the tax year ending April 2014, then the taxman needs to know. Now is the time to declare it and pay any tax due if you have made a profit. Even if you made a loss, you should still complete and submit a tax return as any losses can be carried forward and off-set against profits in future years.

As a buy-to-let landlord your business income and expenses must by law be recorded, keeping all records and receipts for at least 6 years. A simple accounting system which records all income and expenses is all that’s required, though many landlords like to use one of the many specialist landlord property management software packages now available – see: LandlordZONE Directory – Software

When you complete your self-assessment tax return, make sure you are claiming all the allowable expenses you are entitled to, to be off-set against your rental income. See: Taxation of Property Income

If you are not sure what you can claim for or you are not confident in filling in the return you should consider using a qualified accountant. A good accountant will advise on your tax affairs beyond your rental properties taking into account your family income as a whole. They will charge you a fee, but for the advice they give and the money they can save you they are often worth their weight in gold. see LandlordZONE Directory – Accountants & Taxation

Here are the top ten excuses HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) say they receive from taxpayers for missing the 31 January tax return deadline:

“Many of the excuses claim it was someone else’s fault – pets, girlfriends, work colleagues and even the President of the United States are named and blamed for taxpayers’ tardiness.

The excuses were all used in unsuccessful appeals against HMRC penalties for late filing and payment.

Here’s the full list:

  • My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.
  • I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a postbox or get an internet signal.
  • I fell in with the wrong crowd.
  • I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.
  • Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.
  • I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.
  • A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back.
  • I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park.
  • My girlfriend’s pregnant.
  • I was in Australia.

HMRC Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said:

“People can have a genuine excuse for missing a tax deadline, but owning a pet with a taste for HMRC envelopes isn’t one of them.

“You need to file your 2013/14 tax return online, and pay what you owe, by 31 January. But it’s best to do it now, to allow plenty of time to sort out any issues with your return. That way, you’ll avoid the busy period for our phone lines as the deadline approaches.

“All outstanding 2013/14 tax returns must now be submitted online, as the 31 October paper-filing deadline has passed. To send an online tax return, you must be registered for HMRC Online Services. This involves HMRC sending you an Activation Code in the post, and you need to allow 10 days for it to arrive.

Simple, straightforward advice on Self Assessment can be found at HMRC’s new Facebook page.

Help and advice on filing your return – including how to register for online filing – is also available from the GOV.UK website or the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturday).

Please Note: This Article is 7 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


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