The Benefits of Submitting Self Assessment Sooner Rather than Later

Completing a self-assessment tax return isn’t something that many businesses look forward to, but that doesn’t mean that it always has to be stressful.

Although there are other priorities to juggle, there are plenty of reasons to get ahead and complete a return sooner rather than later.

Why submit a tax return earlier?

There are two main reasons that a business should consider submitting a self-assessment tax return earlier:

  1. Plan ahead for the tax bill. Get to grips with what is owed, and plan how and when to pay in advance of the deadline. It takes the pressure off any last-minute panic.
  2. Receive tax benefits sooner. Businesses that are in line to benefit from a tax refund will receive any money sooner

When’s the earliest I can submit a self-assessment tax return?

The tax year runs from April to April, so for 2019/20 it ran from 6 April 2019 to 5 April 2020. That means that a business could have submitted its tax return as early as 6 April 2020.

As the tax return rush usually happens in the run up to Christmas and into the new year, submitting early means that businesses free up time to focus on potentially critical sales periods to maximise revenue or output.

What do I need to submit a Self Assessment tax return?

You will need to register for Self Assessment with HMRC. Just remember that you must register by 5th October in the second tax year of your business. This involves setting up your account (which is a quick process), and waiting for an activation code from HMRC (which can take a few weeks).

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HMRC will send you a 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), which you will need every time you submit a tax return. You’ll also need your National Insurance number.

To complete a Self Assessment tax return you will need to include the details of any income from that tax year, including:

  • self-employment
  • employed work
  • or other sources such as dividends.

If you are sending a return which includes self-employed income, remember to include the details of any expenses which relate to it, too. This is because your tax bill is worked out based on profit (the amount that’s left after expenses are deducted) rather than on income alone. Including your expenses means paying less tax!

If you submit your return yourself, then consider using bookkeeping software to manage your transactions. This will help you stay-up-to date at all times, so when the time comes to submit your Self Assessment tax return, there’s less chance of inaccurate or incomplete information causing problems.

Are the submission date and payment date the same?

One of the benefits of submitting a self-assessment return earlier is that it enables businesses to financially plan more effectively. The great news is that submitting a tax return early doesn’t mean that a payment is due straight away. You can submit early, and still have until the 31st January deadline to pay.

The deadline to submit and pay a tax return for the 2019/20 tax year is midnight on 31 January 2021.

Create a Pandle account today to get started, it’s free to use, and helps simplify Self Assessment for businesses and the self-employed.


Liam Cullen

I'm fully AAT qualified, with a passion for straightforward bookkeeping. In my spare time you'll find me using my Everton season ticket.