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Are you one of those who stuffs any letter that you receive from HMRC straight into a draw, very possibly without evening opening it, or ignores any online contact that you receive from the taxman? If you are…. you suffer from Brown Envelope Syndrome and should read on… [by Brian Palmer]

Don’t put your head in the sand

While I might not be able to convince you to love the taxman I should be able to get you to see the benefit in engaging early.
Over 10 million UK citizens receive a tax return each year, in turn over 90% complete and file theirs before the 31 January following the tax year end. They are the compliant, the ones who get to sleep at night.
My last paragraph was deliberately flippant to draw attention to what I see as the main reasons why you should engage with the tax system early. Quite simply, it is peace of mind.

Benefits of early engagement

There are of course more tangible benefits arising out of engaging early. For instance, you cannot expect to receive a repayment to which you might be due until your tax -return has been filed.
Furthermore, from the moment that your tax return has been filed you can stop worrying about incurring late filing penalties or interest.
Another bi-product of filing returns early that should not be underestimated is that you will know the size of your tax liability well in advance of its due date.
Not only will you be able to adjust your budgeting accordingly you will not be left potentially facing a last-minute shock if your actual tax liability was greater than you had estimated.

The road to an easier life

Good news; the road to salvation is neither long nor torturous.
All you need to do is take a series of baby-steps, at the right time and it will mean that when you receive your notice to file a tax return your heart will not be filled with the usual level of dread and foreboding.

To read the rest of the article, go to Brian Palmer's article on Informi.