Finalise provisional figures and file your next tax return early
Taxpayers who submitted 2021–2022 tax returns with provisional figures need to resolve these and provide the final figures by the end of November.
HMRC has been sending nudge letters to tax agents representing taxpayers whose provisional tax returns are still unresolved, and may also send them directly to unrepresented taxpayers who do not have an agent to manage their tax files.
While using provisional figures is sometimes necessary, submitting a high number of provisional tax returns can draw unwanted attention from HMRC, and leaving them unresolved could result in fines for failing to meet your tax obligations.
That’s why HMRC is also encouraging taxpayers and tax agents to get ahead by submitting 2022–2023 tax returns early – preferably with finalised figures.
Deadline for amending provisional figures
While an estimated figure is used as final when a more accurate figure cannot be provided, a provisional figure is a temporary placeholder for a more accurate final figure that should be submitted later when more information is available.
HMRC will be aware if your tax return contains provisional figures that are due to be amended, as you should have checked the relevant box when submitting it.
The tax authority is now requesting that those needing to update provisional figures should do so well ahead of the statutory deadline, which is 31st January 2024.
If you now have the actual figures to hand, you should submit an amended tax return by 30th November 2023. If you have yet to source the figures, you should aim to find them as soon as possible and submit them by 31st December 2023.
Should the missing figures be too old and impossible to obtain, it would be necessary to confirm to HMRC that the provisional figures are final.
These deadlines are not statutory, which means it is not compulsory to take action by these dates and you will not be penalised for missing them.
However, HMRC recommends taking action now to get ahead, giving more time to prepare your next return before the statutory deadline for 2022–2023 tax returns, which is also 31st January 2024.
File your next tax return early
Nobody wants to stress over filing last-minute tax returns, but it happens to many every year when workloads get heavier and record-keeping isn’t what it should be.
Getting your accounts in order and filing as early as possible will give you more free time to focus on business in the new year and ensures that you avoid a whole host of problems that can come with late or inaccurate tax return submissions.
Filing your 2022–2023 tax return sooner offers the benefits of establishing tax liabilities early enough to enable more accurate financial planning, receiving any tax refunds owed earlier, and allowing you to use a HMRC payment plan if you cannot pay your tax bill in full.
Guidance on Self-Assessment Tax Returns is available on the government website – or you can consult professional tax advisers like gbac for assistance with managing your accounts and submitting final tax returns.