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You’re up against the deadline, contractors!

Well, this is it, lads;  today is your deadline for your latest Self Assessment return payment on account. Miss it at your own expense!

If you’re a contractor and you don’t want to end up paying any interest on your debt to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, you’d better get your payment in before the end of the day. Remember, the self-employed have to pay your estimated tax payment across the course of the year since they don’t have any tax deducted with a pay cheque, like a traditional worker.

This is the last instalment due, so if you’re already lagging behind and you missed the 31 January deadline, you’re already going to end up paying through the nose. Miss this one and you’re going to be in a world of hurt when the taxman comes knocking.

Just 30 days and you’re charged a 5 per cent penalty on top of what you owe. Six months down the line and that goes up by another five per cent – and that’s piled atop your existing balance; another six months and you’ve got yet another five per cent, all while your interest keeps ticking up on the full amount.

And don’t think that you’re off the hook if you haven’t received a reminder letter in the post, which were sent out late last month and early in July. You’re absolutely liable for the tax you owe; yes I know it’s a pain in the arse to deal with, especially when you watch all these big multinationals pay only a fraction of what they owe to the taxman, but you’re not Amazon and HMRC is going to squeeze every last rock until it bleeds – and the smaller rocks turn out to be a lot easier to squeeze than the larger ones.

Still, think of the bright side here: you’re still the master of your own employment. You don’t answer to a boss that can bin you at a whim, and you can work for whomever you want and at whenever time of the day you would like; it’s really not that steep a price to pay if you think of it that way. Sure you have to be more careful with your earnings and set aside some cash for the taxman, but you’re not going to be a successful contractor if you can’t manage your own financial matters, now are you?

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