The tax deadlines can be confusing, so here’s a quick guide to the Tax Return time limits.
If you had any escorting income during the 2011/12 tax year (that’s during the period from 6 April 2011 to 5 April 2012) you need to submit a 2012 Tax Return.
During April HMRC started sending out 2012 Tax Return forms and notices which both say something like this:
This notice requires you, by law, to make a return of your taxable income and capital gains, and any documents requested, for the year from 6 April 2011 to 5 April 2012.
The time limits depend on the way you choose to file your Tax Return.
How to file a Tax Return
There are three ways of completing and sending in your Tax Return, and you can choose whichever one you prefer; but the deadlines are different.
- You can use a traditional paper Tax Return form, fill it in using black ink and capital letters, and then post it back to HMRC. But it needs to reach them by 31 October 2012.
- You can file your Tax Return online. If you’ve not used this method before you have to sign up as an individual on the HMRC site and you need to allow a week or so for HMRC to send you a password. To encourage everyone to move over to online filing there is a more generous time limit, and you have until 31 January 2013 to get your Tax Return submitted.
- You can appoint an accountant and get her/him to complete and submit your Tax Return for you. They will use the Tax Agents online system and again the deadline is 31 January 2013. If you want to find an accountant you might want to look at our directory of qualified accountants who understand the needs of escorts Accountants4escorts.
What happens if my Tax Return is sent in late?
If you send in a paper Tax Return after 31 October or file one online after 31 January you will be charged an automatic fixed penalty of £100. And if your Tax Return is more than 3 months late a daily penalty of £10 per day kicks in.
I filed online last year. Do I need to do the same this year?
If you used the online system last year HMRC will assume you are going to use it again and they won’t send you a paper form. You can change back to a paper form if you wish, but you will have to be quick to request one from the tax office and then get it completed and in by 31 October.
What if HMRC haven’t asked me to complete a 2012 Tax Return?
If HMRC already know that you were self-employed in the year to 5 April 2012 they will either have sent you a paper 2012 Return or a notice requiring you to submit one. You might have mislaid/filed it?
If HMRC do not know you were self-employed in the year to 5 April 2012 you need to tell them. This should have been done by 5 October so as to give HMRC time to send you a Tax Return. But in any case you still need to file a Tax Return and you need to register as soon as possible to avoid penalties.
What if HMRC have only just sent me a Tax Return form?
Tax Return forms are usually sent out on 6 April but are sometimes sent out later, particularly if you have only recently registered as self-employed. You will always have 3 months from the date HMRC issue your Tax Return, even if this takes you beyond 31 October. For example if HMRC send you a Tax Return on 6 April, or any time up to 31 July, you have until 31 October to submit it. But if they issue a Tax Return to you on 16 September you have until 16 December to fill it in and send it back, or 31 January if you complete it online.