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“YOU LIE!” – 60% of Self Employed Under-Reporting Tax

Filling in a tax return and sending it off to HMRC is a legal obligation, just make sure you tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

This comes on the back of a new study that quite clearly shows that 60% of our nations self employed under-report the amount of tax they owe.

Are they doing this intentionally? In my opinion, most are not, but that doesn’t change the fact that any inspector will instantly assumed you lied on purpose. This spells one word and one word only…trouble.

That last thing you want is to be investigated by the HMRC because of some mistake on your tax return. You want to be focused on your business, and not up in the dock facing a jury of your peers.

The study is based on analysis of approximately 35,000 audits of tax returns that were chosen at random and carried out by HMRC between the years of 1999 and 2009.

Perhaps online digital tax returns are making things easier for self employed people? That could be true, and many pundits were predicting that quarterly tax returns online could make things even easier. Unfortunately, it seems that the sending in a tax return 4 times a year idea has been scrapped.

The vast majority of tax under-reporting is believed to be under £1000, although the study did mention that around 4% was over £10,000, which of course, is the kind of amount that HMRC are not going to be too pleased about.

Where are the worst self employed offenders? It appears that construction, hospitality and transport sectors have the most, with bed and breakfast owners and taxi drivers being right at the top of the list.

The professor behind the study had this to say: “Between errors and deliberate under-reporting, a significant share of self assessment tax goes unpaid.”

If you ask me, a lot of this could be avoided by hiring an accountant to take care of everything for you.

Many self employed business owners, freelancers and contractors think they are doing everything right when doing their self assessment, but are actually making unintentional mistakes that could jeopardize their business

That is why I advise every single self employed person in the UK to find yourself a good accountant. Don’t assume you are not one of the people under-reporting your tax.

You don’t know until someone trained and experienced goes over your tax form…that person is a qualified accountant, and they make it their number 1 priority to make sure you stay on the right side of HMRC.

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