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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > February 2017 > TAXING DEADLINES


Don’t be taxed by the upcoming 31 January self-assessment deadline, with business advice from Simon Whaley


Deadlines. As writers, we either love them or hate them. Yet one deadline all writers can’t fail to hit is 31 January. That’s the cut-off date for submitting our online self-assessment tax returns, and paying the tax due on the profits from our writing business from the previous financial year. Procrastination can be costly, because failing to meet this deadline incurs a £100 fine.

In the UK, the Government’s tax year runs from 6 April to the following 5 April. So the tax due by 31 January 2017 is for the profits we earned during the last financial year (6 April 2015 to 5 April 2016). If we use the HMRC’s (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) online self-assessment service, we have almost ten months to calculate and pay the tax we owe on our writing business. (Writers who prefer completing a paper tax return and want HMRC to calculate their tax liability have to submit completed returns by 31 October – too late now for the 2015/2016 tax year).

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