Every year, HMRC issue communication to agents and individuals outlining the benefits of filing the tax return earlier than the 31 January deadline. We are talking about the tax return for 2023/24, due by 31 January 2025.

On 08 May 2024 via a promotional news item, on 09 May 2024 to individuals on the Self-Assessment distribution list and then via the May Agent Update article ‘New tax year — why now is a great time for filing tax returns’.

ICB repeats this message and the benefits of early filing:

  • Filing ahead of the 31 January deadline does not mean any Income Tax liability is due earlier
  • In fact, if a refund is due, this refund can be paid quicker
  • Certainty about knowing what is due to HMRC is important, not least for budgeting
  • Remember that January is a busy time for HMRC’s Self-Assessment line
  • Beating the 31 January deadline does alleviate the potential for late filing penalties
  • It is easier for bookkeepers to be able to spread the administration and the associated stress, especially if something happens or is found to be missing at the last-minute
  • For the taxpayer, the relief of submission always brings peace of mind.  Bring this to your clients sooner by fling early 

For Bookkeepers 

Bookkeepers realise the benefits of spreading the annual Tax Return completion exercise throughout the year rather than waiting until January 2025. 

ICB realises that early filing is not as simple as that in reality as it’s all to do with accurate and effective education and communication.  Bookkeepers may wish to point out the benefits for clients and working this into your next conversation with Self-Assessment clients.