A SMALL accountancy firm is warning business owners to get their tax returns in before the end of January to avoid penalties from HMRC.

JR Williams Accounting, based on Kembrey Drive, has issued the reminder to give business owners the chance to get their affairs in order before the January 31 deadline.

The firm wanted to dispel any confusion that the end of the tax year in April was not the deadline for filing returns, and warned against putting it off till the last minute.

Founder of the company Jorgina Williams said: “From submitting tax returns for many years and seeing the ‘head in sand’ approach in action I can tell you that delaying this important annual task is not the best approach.

“It can cause many a sleepless night, not to mention late filing penalties and interest on unpaid tax - if dealing with your tax affairs leaves you cold, any competent accountant will be able to help.”

The accountants also highlighted that employees earning more than £50,000 but who claim child benefit might also need to file a self-assessment tax return.

Some people, for example, may have their relevant earnings pushed over the £50,000 threshold if their employer provides a car that is available for personal use which needs to be added to the annual salary.

Other benefits such as health insurance, and interest free loans might also push earnings over the threshold for the High Income Child Benefit Charge for the 2017/18 tax year

“This all needs to be wrapped up before 31 January 2019 in order to avoid interest and penalties,” added Jorgina.

“The final thing for complying with HRMC’s rules is to keep your financial records for 22 months after the end of the tax year.

“For any tax returns filed late, make sure to keep them for the longer of 22 months after the tax year or 15 months after the date you file the return.

“Records can be electronic, but if you are choosing the paperless route be sure to have appropriate backups so you don’t fall foul of poor record keeping, which can also result in penalties should HMRC become aware.”

To see if you're affected go to www.gov.uk/check-if-you-need-tax-return.