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Londoners predicted to drag their feet at self-assessment

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs says that it expects London contractors to be amongst the worst offenders when it comes to missing the self-assessment deadline.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the 31 January deadline – the one rapidly approaching – or the 31 October one later in the year, says the taxman – it’s simple statistical fact that contract workers from London are some of the worst when it comes to getting their tax returns in on time. One out of every nine inner Londoners that were required to send in their self-assessment didn’t make the deadline in the previous tax year while outer Londoners were only slightly better at a nine per cent deadline failure rate, HMRC revealed.

Of course, there were bright spots in the rest of the county, including the south-west where there were only six per cent of those responsible for filing self-assessment returns were late. The national average was seven per cent, the taxman reported, with Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales hitting this average right on the dot.

This is exactly why so many tax experts recommend that contractors and other self-employed Brits don’t leave their taxes to the last second. If you don’t have the wherewithal to do it properly on your own, I can’t stress it enough: get yourself a good tax accountant to take care of these things for you. The minimum penalty you’re going to be hit with if you miss your deadline is £100, and that’s just going to get bigger and bigger with the more you delay getting your self-assessment in – you can easily end up spending much more in penalties than you ever would have on a good tax accountant, so you’re really not doing yourself any favours by simply letting it slip your mind until it’s too late.

You have just a little bit more than a week at this point, and it’s really just shedloads of time to get yourself together and get your taxes in order before it’s too late. I know that getting your financial affairs sorted can be a huge pain in the arse, but with the alternatives being even worse you’ve got to simply bite the bullet and get to work. Better yet, find that accountant and give him or her the problem – you’ll pay for their services, but the peace of mind you’ll gain will absolutely help you sleep at night.

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