Too many tax hurdles for self-employed

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been accused of placing “hurdle after hurdle” in the way of the self-employed paying their bills as the self-assessment deadline approaches.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on HMRC to be lenient when it comes to Thursday’s deadline, saying that it has been unusually difficult to file returns this year. This is partly because people are no longer able to spread tax payments by paying their bill on a personal credit card, as HMRC stopped accepting credit card payments on 13 January – new rules mean they can no longer pass on the fee their bank charges for processing a personal credit card payment. Adding to the difficulties is the fact that the option to pay self-assessment bills at post offices has also been removed.

Speaking to The Times*, Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, says that many SMEs have also been hit, either directly or indirectly, by the collapse of construction firm Carillion, warning that they “should be focused on their own survival, and not have that compromised by the taxman”.

It is important to be aware that filing your tax return late, or failing to pay the tax you owe on time, could mean you face extra penalty fees and interest charges. Even if you haven’t done so for this past tax year, it is recommended that you authorise a tax specialist such as Beavis Morgan to handle your tax affairs and deal with HMRC on your behalf. This will ensure that all deadlines are met and that you are not paying more tax than you need to.

For further information and to discuss your tax affairs in further detail, please contact your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.

*Source: The Times, 29 January 2018, New hurdles block self-employed from meeting tax deadline