Intuit QuickBooks recently conducted research on the personal and business impacts of the upcoming Self Assessment season on UK small businesses and sole traders, with the 31st January 2024 deadline approaching. The research revealed some concerning trends.
Procrastination and Missed Deadlines
Despite having ample time to file their Self Assessment tax return, a significant 46% of small business owners are delaying filing until 2-3 months before the deadline, with a quarter waiting until the last month. This procrastination has led to one in five businesses missing the deadline in the past and facing significant fines.
Impact on Business Operations
The lead up to Self Assessment has had a negative impact on business operations, with 59% of respondents reporting difficulties. Nearly one in five have had to reduce staffing hours due to lack of time for training, while the same number had to turn away customers.
Late Filing and Holiday Period
Late filing has resulted in more than one in ten small businesses and sole traders having to work on their tax returns during holidays, including Christmas and New Year’s. This has a significant impact on the personal lives and well-being of business owners.
Challenges and Solutions
The looming deadline has also affected entrepreneurial motivation, with 55% of business owners reporting a decline in passion for running their businesses. However, there are potential solutions, as 73% of respondents expressed the need to understand how to prepare their documentation in smaller, manageable sections, and 76% agreed that having an easy-to-use business tool would be beneficial.
Pauline Green, Head of Product Compliance & Programs at Intuit QuickBooks UK, emphasized the importance of starting early and utilizing available tools and technology to build confidence and allow business owners to focus on their core operations.
For more information on preparing for Self Assessment, visit Intuit QuickBooks.