6 Reasons to submit your Tax Return early

1st May 2024

Now that the 5th April 2024 has passed, many self-assessment taxpayers will be turning their attention to preparing and submitting their self-assessment personal tax returns for the 2023/24 tax year, which covers the tax year ended 5th April 2024, but what are the reasons for choosing to submit your tax return early?


Although the filing deadline is 31st January 2025 (31st October 2024 for paper returns) it is important to remember that there are many benefits to preparing your tax return as early as possible. Some of the key benefits are summarised below:


1. Tax refunds are accelerated, but tax payments are not

If you submit your return early, the normal due dates for payment remain fixed and are not brought forward. For the 2023/24 tax year these are as follows:


  • 31st July 2024 deadline for second payment on account (if applicable).


  • 31st January 2025 deadline for balancing payment (if due) and first payment on account for the 2024/25 tax year (if applicable).


Where you submit your 2023/24 self-assessment personal tax return before 31st July 2024, your second 2023/24 payment on account, which is usually estimated will be certain, reducing the risk of late payment interest from further accruing if a claim for reduction has been made and this proves excessive.


Conversely, if you are due a tax repayment, HMRC do not wait until 31st January 2025 to refund the repayment. Usually this means that you will receive a tax repayment within just a few weeks of submitting your return.



2. Collection of tax via your 2025/26 PAYE tax code

In certain circumstances, for the 2023/24 tax year, it is also possible where income tax of less than £3,000 arises, which is payable under self-assessment can be collected via a restriction to your 2025/26 PAYE tax code (if you have one and if you pay sufficient PAYE and which will commence from April 2025) instead of it being payable as a lump sum by 31st January 2025 , so long as your return is submitted to HMRC by 30th December 2024, potentially assisting with your personal cash flow.



3. Cashflow

If you submit your tax return early you will have much more time to budget for the 31st January 2025 balancing payment, which will avoid any nasty surprises on 31st January 2025.



4. Time to consider tax planning

Submitting your return early will ensure that there is a higher chance for any proactive tax planning opportunities to be spotted and actioned as soon as possible. This will give you as much time as possible to consider and action relevant tax planning points such as restructuring of assets and income streams, making annual personal pension contributions, charitable donations under gift aid or utilising your ISA allowances.



5. PAYE tax codes

By submitting your 2023/24 tax return earlier in the cycle, where any incorrect 2024/25 PAYE tax codes for the current tax year are identified, it means these can be corrected earlier rather than much later in the tax year when this may be more problematic and cumbersome to do, potentially impacting on personal cash flows if significant adjustments are required.



6. Enquiry window will close earlier

HMRC have a period of 12 months from the date that they receive your tax return, provided that it was received on time and a full disclosure made, to open a compliance check into the return. By submitting your return earlier in the year, you will ensure that the enquiry window closes that much earlier than had you submitted your return on 31st January 2025.



Get In Touch

For more information or advice on your Self Assessment Tax Return, contact your local Whitings office today.


Disclaimer - All information in this post was correct at time of writing.
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