IFA  

Call for extension to tax year deadlines

Call for extension to tax year deadlines

Self invested personal pension provider Curtis Banks has called for the government to extend any end of tax year deadlines after receiving calls from worried advisers.

The end of the tax year on April 5 tends to be a busy time for advisers as they deal with many pension funding queries ranging from making use of unused annual allowance and carry forward questions and calculations.

It is also a popular time for Isas, because if people do not use their Isa allowance before the end of the tax year, it cannot be rolled over.

Curtis Banks has asked HM Revenue & Customs whether these deadlines will be extended given the current climate and the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

When asked, HMRC said the deadlines still stood but it is announcing things as they happen.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “HMRC is ready to help all businesses and self-employed individuals in financial difficulty due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Any business affected by the outbreak should contact the new dedicated helpline on 08000 159 559.”

This helpline allows HMRC to discuss specific circumstances and help those that are unable to pay tax bills etc due to the coronavirus.

The tax authority may be able to cancel penalties and interest where individuals have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately as well as set up an installment arrangement for payments.

But some advisers were not worried about the looming deadlines as during this crisis they had been able to work remotely and submit business online as usual.

Tim Morris, an adviser at Russell & Co said: “Personally, while this is a really busy time for me, I don’t see the need to extend. Saying that, if there are people impacted, I wouldn’t have a problem with it being extended.

“Tax planning is an important part of advice and clients value help when it comes to maximising their allowances. While this is simple to do themselves for an Isa, when it comes to pensions, many clients are currently impacted by the tapered allowance and also don’t get their bonus until this time of year so can only now confirm their full earnings for the tax year.”

He added: “Many business clients also wait until their year end to top-up their pension. If their business year ends in March, there is always a last minute rush.

“Add to that any clients investing in a VCT or EIS before they close and there is always plenty of work for even the best prepared planners.”

amy.austin@ft.com

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know.