Small business owners unprepared for tax deadline day - PC Retail

Small business owners unprepared for tax deadline day

Raj Sond, General Manager at First Data Merchant Solutions, shares his opinion
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Raj Sond, General Manager at First Data Merchant Solutions, says small business owners find things like tax returns more challenging than expected, in this opinion piece.

Friday 31st October 2014 is a date that will be weighing heavy on the shoulders of many small business retailers: tax deadline day for paper forms.

A recent survey from First Data Merchant Solutions uncovered that many small business owners are unprepared for ‘behind the scenes’ admin tasks such as filing taxes when they start out.

Over 40 per cent admitted to finding the day-to day functions of running a small business more challenging than expected, with accounting and tracking finances coming out as one of the key chores that take SME owners by surprise.

A major issue is that many small businesses continue to rely on pen and paper or simple spreadsheets to record their accounts. This is not a suitable solution for a modern business and means tax deadline day is a pandemonium of receipt gathering, transaction list searching and general panic.

By missing the date by just one day, businesses automatically incur a charge of £100, even if the owner has no tax to pay, or has paid the tax owed on time. This penalty charge steadily increases, with the business being charge £10 per day for every day late. This could amount to £900 in 90 days – a waste of hard earned cash. 

The Government has pushed the paper deadline forward to October in an effort to encourage more businesses to fill in their tax forms online. But if small businesses are to truly relieve the pressure of tax forms, they should go beyond simply filling a virtual form.

In the 2011-12 tax year, 915,000 penalties for late tax returns were issued, showing just the trouble many find with completing their tax returns on time.

Instead, by real-time tracking transactions and accounts data and even automating the process, small business owners could remove the inevitable tax deadline day dread and reduce the chances of unwelcome fees.

About the author

Raj Sond is General Manager at First Data Merchant Solutions

Image source: Shutterstock

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