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A recent warning issued from HM Revenue & Customs is expected to create a demand for accountancy services as the deadline for filing online approaches. The last date for filing 2009-10 self assessment tax returns is 31st January 2011. Any business that misses this deadline will face a fixed penalty of £100 with the possibility of interest added at a later date.

In order to file online, a business or sole trader has to register with HMRC, who will then issue a user ID and activation code. These are posted to you and can take up to seven days to be received. With the additional disruption to postal services following the severe weather conditions, it could take much longer. Not registering in time to file online will not be an acceptable reason for missing the deadline for filing your return.

Outsourcing accounts to a small business accountancy service will ensure that your self assessment tax return is filed before the deadline, along with timely submission of your business accounts. An online accountancy will enable you to submit records and invoices in real time so that your return is based on accurate information rather than estimates based on last year’s return.

HMRC legislation has to be strictly adhered to, with penalties and fines for missed deadlines. If HMRC suspect irregularities they can launch an investigation into your company affairs. A reputable accountant will keep your tax affairs up to date and within the legislation, avoiding costly penalties or lengthy investigations.

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