Don’t take tax advice from a bloke down the pub

by | Jan 21, 2022

Here at Atreus, we’re unsurprisingly in the thick of self-assessment season ahead of the deadline on or before midnight on 31 January 2022. 

A big part of what we’re doing is unpicking mistakes people have made as a result of taking advice from the proverbial “bloke down the pub”. 

You know the sort we mean. The chap who talks a good game, but in reality he doesn’t know his backside from his elbow as far as tax goes. 

Even if he used to be an accountant or seems to know what he’s talking about, he’s telling you what you want to hear – not what you need to know.

There’s a bit of leeway this year as far as HMRC’s penalties go (more on that later), although we’re in the business of getting it right first time.

Now is also the time to start reporting and paying tax on any grants you received between 6 April 2020 and 5 April 2021, up to three in total. 

Reporting the SEISS

If you’re self-employed, the chances are that you will be well aware of the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS). 

Around 2.9 million self-employed taxpayers claimed one of the five taxable grants from March 2020 before the SEISS closed in September 2021. 

Three grants were available during the 2020/21 tax year and claiming even one of them will form part of your taxable income for this period.

You will need your SEISS reference number and the amounts you claimed for any of those grants during the tax year. 

Evidence of how your business was affected during the pandemic-affected tax year is also useful to have.

Penalties regime 

If you have listened to ‘that bloke down the pub’ recently and got yourself in a bit of a mess, you will have more time to complete your tax return.

Should you miss the self-assessment deadline at the end of the month, you won’t be fined – as long as your return is filed online by 28 February 2022.

The usual late-filing penalties (daily penalties from three, six and 12 months) will kick from 1 March 2022.

A word of caution, however, is that interest will still accrue at 2.75% on your outstanding liability from 1 February 2022.  

If you can’t pay your tax bill by 31 January 2022, you should either pay your liability in full by 1 April 2022 or set up a time-to-pay arrangement. 

A 5% late-payment penalty will be charged if tax remains outstanding or a payment plan has not been set up by this point. 

How we can help

There’s no substitute for the quality of advice you get from a chartered accountant like us. You’ll benefit from our training and experience, plus we’ll keep you up to date with tax law and so on.

If you’ve received dodgy advice from the local boozehound, or you’ve yet to start your 2020/21 tax return, don’t delay and get in touch with us today.

We handle every aspect of self-assessment.

We’re ready to supercharge your business. Are you?

Get in touch - the future starts now.