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UK contractors to receive their unpaid tax bill fines

You better hope you don’t have an ominous envelope fro the taxman waiting for you today, as HMRC has started sending out fines to contractors in the UK.

The 31 January self-assessment deadline has come and gone, and if you were one of the lucky few who couldn’t get their act together in time, congratulations: you’ve earned a five per cent penalty on any taxes you owe. You’ve got six months to pay the balance unless you want to earn an additional five per cent penalty – and yes, they not only stack together but the taxman adds interest to any sums that are outstanding, so if you’re a contractor or a freelancer you could be in for a world of hurt if you let this go and don’t deal with it quickly!

Listen, I know that it’s a pain in the arse to deal with the self-assessment process for all too many of us freelancers and contractors. It’s confusing and time-consuming, and you’ve got to balance it with actually doing work for clients, but you need to set time aside for these necessities, especially if you’re running into  problems getting these things done properly. If you’re truly clueless you should go find an accountant to help you muddle through, as the money you spend on a qualified expert will most likely be much, much less than what you’d typically spend on fixed penalties and late fees.

In fact, you’re already at least £100 in the red with HMRC as it is, as the taxman sent out fines to everyone who missed the self-assessment deadline in early February – all 850,000 of them. On top of that, if you didn’t get your forms in right afterwards like the 60,000 self-assessors who did so the week after the deadline, you’ve got an additional £10 a day fine tacked on, so quit mucking about and get your particulars in to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs before you end up paying through the nose for your lack of foresight, you big mutton-head.

You truly have to make the time to get your self-assessment in now, as you’ve waited more than long enough. If it means you take a few days in between projects – or if you put one or two on the back burner to get your financial house in order – you shouldn’t hesitate and just go about and do it. You’re haemorrhaging  cash at an alarming rate, and the taxman’s not going to just forget about it, so do it now before it balloons to an unmanageable figure that could see you in serious financial trouble.

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