With only a few days left before self assessment 2011-2012 tax return are due, HMRC have warned small businesses of the tough approach to late payments.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the department presented more petitions to wind up late-paying firms (5,302) in the year to March 2012 than it did in the 12 months before this (3,367).

While HMRC says it does not aim to wind up any firm and does not take such action lightly, it will look to recoup any tax owed to the Exchequer.

Many small businesses take advantage of the HMRC’s Time to Pay payment plans, but you must not already be late with payment – foresight is essential.  Small business should do more to avoid having last minute panic when they leave things to the last minute.  Being prepared and having up to date records not only assists cashflow but also helps you grow your business.

The self assessment tax return deadline for 2011-12 is this Thursday (January 31st).