Oldham businesses could be at risk of paying too much tax

Date published: 23 January 2019

Businesses in Oldham could be at risk of paying more tax than what they owe, according to a tax-return software provider based in the town.

There is just over a week to go until the self-assessment deadline, the 31 January.

Almost a third are yet to submit their tax return, meaning they could be at risk of paying more – according to Oldham-based firm GoSimpleTax.

They make use of Artificial Intelligence to aid clients through submitting their self-assessment.

The figures align with HMRC’s findings last year, that 2 million people left it to 29 January in 2018.

GoSimpleTax’s technical director, Mike Parkes said: “We usually experience a sharp submission spike in the last hour before the January 31st deadline.

“Of our figures, the last person to submit on the day left it to 23:59:43 in 2018 – indicating just how late people are willing to leave it.

“It’s due to a combination of factors - people are strapped for time, as well as being reluctant to complete, and of course pay, their tax return.

“So, they avoid it for as long as possible.”

But leaving it to the last minute can cause further stress and monetary consequences for business owners.

Mike explained: “There are a number of reasons that dwelling on a tax return can create headaches.

“Rushing through the process can mean that mistakes are made, leading to costly fines.

“For example, you can be penalised up to 30 per cent of tax owed, if careless errors are submitted.

“On the flipside, an oversight could even lead to an overpayment of tax – money which is better in your pocket.

“Forward-planning, if possible, is therefore hugely beneficial.

“It also means that business owners can take advantage of all the ways to be tax-efficient, such as claiming expenses on travel and marketing – so the benefits are two-fold.

 “There’s not much time left, but our advice is not to panic.

“Those yet to submit should set some time aside to go through it without having to rush.”