Landlords: Benefits of Early Tax Return Filing

Landlords should understand the benefits of filing Self-assessment tax returns early. Recent data from HMRC indicates a significant shift in taxpayer behaviour, with more individuals opting to submit their returns well before the January deadline. This trend offers numerous advantages, especially for landlords managing multiple properties and diverse income streams. Below, we outline why early filing is beneficial and provide specific guidance for pensioners considering Self-Assessment.

Benefits of Filing Early

1. Peace of Mind

Filing your tax return early can alleviate the stress associated with last-minute submissions. Early filing allows you to focus on managing your properties without the looming pressure of the January deadline.

2. Know What You Owe

Submitting your tax return early enables you to know your tax liability sooner. This allows for better financial planning and budgeting throughout the year. You can set up a payment plan to manage your tax bill in instalments if needed.

3. Quick Refunds

If you've overpaid tax, filing early means you'll receive any refunds due much sooner. HMRC processes early submissions quickly, ensuring you get your money back without unnecessary delays.

4. Access to Support

Early filers can take advantage of HMRC’s digital services, which provide a range of tools to help manage tax affairs efficiently. For those needing extra assistance, HMRC offers helplines and web chat support.

5. Proof of Income

Early filing provides timely proof of income, which can be essential when applying for mortgages, loans, or certain benefits. This can be particularly useful for landlords planning to expand their property portfolios.

6. Payment Flexibility

Filing early doesn't mean you have to pay early. The tax payment deadline remains 31 January 2025. However, knowing your tax bill in advance lets you plan your finances accordingly.

Special Considerations for Pensioners

Understanding Self-Assessment

Self-assessment is necessary for those with untaxed income. You may need to file a tax return if you receive income beyond your personal allowance (£12,570 for 2023/24), including state pensions, private pensions, investments, or earnings.

State Pension and Tax

The state pension is taxable income. If your total income, including the state pension, exceeds your personal allowance, you must complete a Self-Assessment tax return. If your state pension is your only income below the personal allowance, you typically won't need to file a return.

Registering for Self-Assessment

If you haven't registered for Self-Assessment before, you can do so via the GOV.UK website. You'll need your National Insurance number and two forms of ID, such as a UK passport and driving license. HMRC will then issue a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), which you'll use to file your return.

Filing and Payment Deadlines

The deadline for filing the 2023/24 tax return is 31 January 2025. Filing early allows you to avoid penalties and gives you more time to manage any tax owed. You can file online via HMRC’s secure services, with 97% of taxpayers choosing this method for convenience and speed.

Additional Resources and Support

HMRC offers extensive online resources to help with Self-Assessment. These include guides, video tutorials, and support for those with complex tax situations or without internet access. For more information, visit the GOV.UK Self-Assessment page.

Conclusion

Filing your Self-Assessment tax return early provides numerous benefits, from financial planning and stress reduction to quicker refunds and better support access. Whether you're a landlord managing multiple properties or a pensioner with diverse income sources, early filing is a smart strategy to stay ahead of your tax obligations.

For further assistance and to start your Self-Assessment process, visit GOV.UK Self-Assessment.

HMRC infographic shows 295,250 tax returns filed in the first week of the new tax year, featuring a bird on a branch in a yellow circle.

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