Tax return deadline met? What next…
Any student will tell you there is nothing like an approaching deadline to focus the mind. Not many of us relish a deadline; yet many of us cannot seem to get things done without one. Given two weeks to write an essay, I would manage only a few hundred words as deadline day approached before churning out several thousand words in the final 24 hours. I always wished I had got going earlier and saved myself the stress and loss of sleep.
According to data released by HMRC, 2,044 taxpayers opted to save themselves a good deal of stress ahead of the 31 January self-assessment deadline by completing their tax return on Christmas Day. Another 5,402 completed their tax return on Boxing Day. 24,546 did so on New Year's Eve (hopefully before cracking open the bubbly) and 11,467 treated their hangover by submitting their return on New Year's Day. All of them deserve the peace of mind this will bring – assuming of course they can find the money to pay the tax bill!
Now while we are on the subject of deadlines and peace of mind, how about considering the most important deadline of all – the date of our demise? Death is not a popular subject and why should it be. But there is something very important we all need to do before we die and that is to make a Will. If you don't make a Will, the law will decide who benefits from your estate and the result may be something you did not intend. By making a Will, you stay in control of who benefits from your estate. You also give yourself the chance to structure your Will tax efficiently and cater for the particular needs of your chosen beneficiaries.
As we begin a new year, why not take an important step towards peace of mind and make sure you beat the deadline by talking to a solicitor about making a Will?
There is no getting away from the fact that this is a deadline with a difference. You don't know when it is – and there are definitely no extensions!