One in three taxpayers struggle with tax returns

One in three taxpayers struggle with tax returns

Jan 24, 2024

A third of people required to complete self assessment tax returns are worried they will make mistakes while over half are not aware of the filing deadline

Three out of 10 adults have said they do not think they could fill out a self assessment form correctly, found research by Standard Life, but more worryingly 55% of respondents did not even know the date of the tax filing deadline of 31 January.

As well as many people feeling they could not complete the form correctly, 17% had no confidence in their ability to complete the form without mistakes. However, on a more positive note, 35% were confident enough to complete a tax self assessment form.

Additionally, 41% of people that pay 40% tax, or are close to the higher tax band, do not know they may have to file for self assessment, even if employed and paying tax through PAYE, particularly if they have been claiming child benefit. As soon as taxpayers earn £50,000, they have to pay the higher income child benefit charge.

Dean Butler, managing director for retail direct at Standard Life said: ‘If you are earning £50,271 a year or over, not completing a self assessment tax return could lead to you missing out on valuable tax relief on pension contributions.

‘Anyone with a pension receives 20% tax relief on every contribution they make, and this is added automatically.

‘However, higher rate taxpayers need to claim the extra 20% of tax relief they are entitled to, which will then be repaid via a tax rebate, a change in tax code (which will mean you’ll pay less tax the following year) or a reduction in your tax bill for the current year.’

‘Another important reason to have a good grip on your tax return if you’re a higher earner is there’s a chance you might have exceeded your annual allowance, and it’s your responsibility to disclose this. The annual allowance sits at £60,000 for most people.’

Delays in filing a tax return also incur penalty charges after three months, starting at £100. Each day after this a £10 charge will be added, up to a total of £900. Interest is also charged on late payments.