Somewhat out of the blue, HMRC recently announced that fines up to £100 for those who fail to file their tax returns on time are to be scrapped.
For people who miss the deadline, with a valid reason such as a family death, hospital stay or fire, this will be a welcome relief.
However, as non-financial penalties and higher interest on accrued debts are being explored as a penalty for missing the deadline, it’s not surprising record-breaking levels of tax returns are being returned on time.
According to official statistics from HMRC, 10.24 million (92%) of tax returns were submitted on time, leaving only 890,000 missing the 31st of January deadline.
So why is it now so many people are getting their tax returns before the deadline?
By reflecting further on the published results, 8.48 million returns, 84.5% – another record-breaking number, were filed online, demonstrating a clear move away from old-fashioned paper filing to the internet and online accounting.
Online and cloud accounting has revolutionised the way the accounting industry functions in recent years. Specialised computer software allows for faster processing, enabling accountants to be more efficient and in turn, pass this on to clients in the form of lower more affordable costs.
As well as paying less for an accountant, cloud accounting also means small business owners or freelancers for example, have unlimited access to their up-to-date accounts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By uploading receipts via a smartphone camera, shoeboxes of receipts can become a thing of the past as all information including expenses, invoices and payments, are safely stored online in a virtual filing cabinet where all major tax deadlines are tracked.
With technology continually advancing, it is vital to keep up with the times and embrace online cloud accounting, taking advantage of the efficient accessible service it offers.
For more information on cloud accounting, please visit Ship Shape Accounting at http://www.shipshapeaccounting.com/ follow @ShipShapeAcc or call 0207 706 5250.