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The start of the new calendar year is always an indication that the clock has almost hit zero in terms of the self-assessment tax return filing deadline – and that in turn could lead to a rise in small business insolvency in the months to come.

January’s deadline can be a ‘kill or cure’ time for so-called zombie businesses, which may have been operating at the limit of affordability throughout the previous year, without the opportunity to save enough capital to cover the tax bill when it arrives.

For those at the very limit, there is the added complication of the deadline for National Insurance contributions, and many self-employed individuals in particular will be looking to pay for six months’ worth of NI this month as well.

All of this means the New Year period can be a turbulent time – and off the back of a rocky few years in the wider economy, that raises the risk of small business insolvency.

For anyone facing financial difficulty, prompt insolvency advice could help to rescue a struggling company and, in the case of self-employed individuals, avoid personal bankruptcy as well.