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Landlords urged to file tax returns as soon as possible

Landlords grappling with tax returns have been given some advice - file them sooner, rather than later.

Data analysed by business consultancy Hargreaves Lansdown shows that almost 250,000 people filed a self-assessment tax return in the first week of the tax year - up by 100,000 since 2018 - and some 77,500 people filed their self-assessment tax return on April 6, the first possible date this tax year. 

That’s doubled since 2018, but is still some way off the 96,519 people who did it on April 6 in 2020 when most of the country was in lockdown. It’s also way behind the 861,085 who filed on January 31 2023 – the last possible day.


Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: “Your chance to be an early bird has flown, but if you get stuck into your tax return now, you can still swoop in and snap up some key early bird benefits – and preen yourself for being ahead of the 861,085 people winging it at the last possible second.”

She has given seven tips for those wanting to crack on now.

  1. You can set up a budget payment plan

This lets you set up regular weekly or monthly payments, so you don’t have to face the bill in one horrible lump sum. You can also pause these payments for up to six months, if you run into cash flow headaches.

  1. You can plan ahead for the payment

You should be setting aside money to cover your tax bill as you go along, but things don’t always go to plan, so by getting on top of this now you have a few extra months to put cash aside to cover a shortfall.

  1. If it turns out you don’t actually need to file, you can withdraw

If your circumstances have changed and you don’t need to file a tax return, you need to act now and let HMRC know, so they can have time to issue a withdrawal notice before the end of January. If you leave it to the deadline, you’ll need to do a tax return anyway in order to avoid a fine.

  1. You may get a speedy tax refund

Payments don’t have to be in until January, but if HMRC owes you money, your refund will be processed straight away. And because HMRC isn’t as busy at this time of year, it should be fairly speedy.

  1. You can do some tax planning before you file

Most of what you do now will only affect your tax bill for the current tax year, but there are a handful of ‘carry back’ opportunities to cut your bill for the year you’re filing a return for. If you give money to charity using gift aid, the charity will reclaim basic rate tax, but higher and additional rate taxpayers need to claim the difference through their tax return: you can carry back this claim. It means you can make a donation now, and include it in the tax return you’re filing. This is particularly useful if your income is going to fall below a tax threshold this year, because you can claim gift aid in a year when you were paying a higher rate of tax.

Another carry back rule applies if you’ve invested in an Enterprise Investment Scheme in the current tax year, and you want to carry back income tax relief of 30 per cent to the previous year. You can’t claim back more relief than the tax you have paid, so this is particularly useful if you won’t earn enough to offset the tax relief this year.

  1. You have longer to correct mistakes on previous tax returns

If completing your tax return makes you realise you’ve made a mistake on the previous year’s return, then you have until 31 January to submit an amendment. If you leave it all to the last minute, it’s easy to be so busy with your tax return that there’s no time to amend the previous one.

  1. If the whole thing feels like too much admin, you can get help

This isn’t a bad time to find an accountant to complete a tax return for you, because it’s a relatively quiet period. If you leave it to the last minute, you may struggle to find someone with availability.”

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    Mine are done and off to the account by the end of April, submitted and agreed by HMRC by July, job done


    Mine are done as early as possible with HMRC. Then forwarded to the Cyprus tax authorities to do their bit as their deadline is the end of July. Quite a rush especially when you have to wait for your P60 from your pension providers. Brilliant for CGT though as I only have to pay on the value of gains as at April 2015 as I sell..

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    Mine were mainly done and submitted to the accountant in April with just a few late arriving mortgage and workplace pension statements added later. He sent a draft version of my tax return in September with a couple of errors and still hasn't corrected it. Now Section 24 has made tax bills quite so high it would be useful to have the figures as early as possible so we can budget accordingly.

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    Cos the gov is short of money to waste. ??😁

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    I no longer use an accountant as I prefer my more sympathetic interpretation of the tax laws.

    However I have my tax calculation done and the money earning over 5% until I submit the return in mid January, complete with full notes to explain any potentially questionable interpretations so I can't be accused of hiding anything. I have never had anything queried so far so see no need to change my ways.

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    Mine are not done, how could it be done when our unpaid time is wasted trying to do every rubbish requirement & expense they have dreamt up more added every day. Then I hear a woman on Radio 4. says she’s 13 years in Parliament and can’t wait to get rid of Section 21. The bare faced lies and propaganda this last hour.
    She says as soon as Tenants complain they are evicted as if just like waving your hand. The reality is very much different for landlords usually deal with issues when informed. I only ever evicted three times in 45 years if I had done what she is claiming it would be hundreds.
    The other thing they were on about Private Rents unaffordable without once mentioning why they were unaffordable, no mention of the witch hunt been driven by legislation a whole load of costs imposed on us including taxes and vat, licensing and everything else we do.
    Remove the shackles off PRS and stop discriminating against us, then there will be a competitive low cost PRS.
    1’000’000 on Council’s waiting list they said, so she thinks getting rid of S.21 is the answer to all but far from it, the opposite is the case as has been well proven with landlord exit, and she’s 13 years in Parliament and so clueless , god help us.
    No my Accounts are not done that’s what Xmas is used for as usual to get them in before the deadline 31st January otherwise where’s the time to do it, unless you are a hands off Digital Landlord with Sky high Rents to cover everything.

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    The removal of sec 21 is the death nell for PRS
    You have until 31st January whats the fuss all about.
    Tenants no longer have any repect and trash houses knowing you can't do a thing about it, do not pay rent. Solicotors fees are off the scale. Get out while you can and sleep easy at night instead of stressing over stupid government policies

  • Matthew Payne

    Agree with Robert, whilst its earning 6% in my account, why give it to someone else to do the same so I can earn 0%?


    Don't you pay the same tax, due at the same time, regardless of when you file the return?


    Exactly John

  • John  Adams

    Do you returns by all means, but be daft enough to pay it until late January, put the money aside and earn some interest.


    by getting the returns in and agreed dorsn't mean we pay any sooner or any more, it's just a job done and out of the way


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