Not much in this life is a given, we don’t know exactly what is around the corner – not much. However, we can guarantee a small number of things in our life, and as the saying goes, it’s death and taxes. We’re not here to be morbid, so it is the latter that we will choose to focus on today, especially consider the fact that we are here to talk about finances in general.
If you know anything at all about cash and finances, you will know that taxes are incredibly important. There are very few countries in the world that have a 0% tax rate, in fact, you’d find very few countries in the Western world that won’t tax you. Even when you aren’t paying tax, you might be expected to make some form of contribution, be it an import duty or social security payment. That being said, most countries across the world will tax you – so for most citizens and business owners of the world, this article will apply to you.
Now, because taxes are a social responsibility, there are big punishments in line for those who don’t pay their taxes (unless you’re a massive business, they seem to get away with it a lot with various loopholes). It is incredibly important to not only pay your taxes, but declare your income on time and file your taxes. If you don’t, you could be on the end of one of many sanctions.
Now, if you are employed by someone else in usual circumstances, it usually falls on your employer to pay your taxes based on your salary. This is staggered over the financial year and deducted from your paycheck through a PAYE scheme. This is not always the case though, especially so if you are a freelancer. Sometimes, your employer might pay too little tax. In any case, it pays to check and correct this as soon as possible. Paying too much tax isn’t something you are punished for, but if you are knowingly paying too little tax, you will be sanctioned. Even if your employer is paying your taxes from your paycheck, it’s still your job to sort it all out, it will always be your responsibility.
If you are a freelance worker, self-employed, running your own business or not privy to a PAYE scheme – you’ll need to do the hard work yourself. This means declaring your income, filing your taxes and paying your taxes to the correct authorities on time.
Depending on where you are based in the world, the deadline for your taxes will differ and this might change from year to year. It will almost always fall in line with the financial year of the country you are based in. The first penalty you will encounter is a fine for filing late. Don’t ever file late.
Now, to the headline. What if you haven’t done your taxes? Well – you’ve got a problem and the only way it will be solved is if you do your taxes as soon as possible, declare your income, pay your fines and then pay your taxes. You won’t find a way around this and you can’t claim ignorance. That will be thrown straight out of a court! If you are responsible for your taxes, one of your biggest responsibilities of your work aside from the work itself is knowing all that you need to know about your taxes and how to file them. The amount of help available proves that you’ve got no excuse, from tax attorneys like MCC4Tax to accountants who can file them for you. You need to take some kind of responsibility for this, whether you do it yourself or outsource the work.
The thing is, people can avoid paying taxes for years, and might even brag about this. The other thing is that the authorities will eventually catch up at some point or another and the longer you go without making an effort to correct this, the bigger the punishment. This can mean fines, but it can often mean imprisonment for people dedicated to cheating the system. Taxes are not a volunteer scheme and you must pay your taxes. Otherwise, you’ll be chased for the cash and eventually punished.
Don’t get it twisted; you cannot avoid taxes. Trying to do so will mean the end of your business ventures and likely the end of your career. Not many people are in a position to succeed after being caught out for evading tax. Simply put, don’t do it. It will be the biggest.