DON'T FORGET TAX RETURNS!
WITH the January 31 deadline for sole traders to submit their tax returns looming, now is when the panic starts to set in. For most, that sinking feeling is nothing more than the thought of spending a few hours sorting out the paperwork and then watching a big chunk of money leave your account.
However, in the current economic downturn, a growing number of sole traders each year are keeping their businesses afloat using money which should be being set aside to pay tax liabilities.
Whether you have the funds to pay it or not, your priority is to complete and submit your tax return. It may be that you do not owe as much as you think. If you cannot pay, you should contact your accountant, or if you do your own accounts, you should contact HMRC directly. It may be difficult to get through at this time of year, but persevere. Once you have a representative on the line, explain your circumstances in full, including when you expect to be able to pay them, and confirm with them that no penalty charges will be added to your account.
You may be eligible for the HMRC Time to Pay (TTP) scheme, which will allow you breathing space to get the payment together. It's always a good idea to make a note of the representative's name and the reference number which they should give you for the call.
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If HMRC are not the only creditors you are struggling to pay, seek professional advice immediately; a formal arrangement with your creditors, such as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) may be more beneficial for your situation.