There’s only a few weeks left to complete and file your self assessment tax return or you will be faced with an automatic £100 penalty for late submission. The last date you can file your return is 31st January 2017. By following the five steps below and your life will be easier!
1. Register for an online account
The deadline for completing your tax return on paper was 31st October, so you have no other choice but to complete this online now. You’ll need do do this via the HM Revenue and customs website, which you will need your own personal log in for.
If you have completed your tax return online before you should already have a user name and password. If you have not registered you should do so immediately as the activation code you require to get your account up and running is sent via post and can take up to seven days to arrive. Once you have this your online account will be up and running in no time.
2. Sort out the paperwork you need for your tax return
To complete your tax return there are various bits of paperwork you need. This can vary from person to person depending on your circumstances. If you are employed you will need your P60, or if you have left a job within the year you will need a P45, both showing your earning and tax paid.
If you receive any job benefits such as a company car, you should have been provided with a P11D or P9D from your employer so you will need this too.
For any self employed individuals you will need details of your income received along with any expenses incurred for your business.
For limited company directors you will need details of any dividends you have received from your limited company.
Landlords will need details of renatl income received along with any valid expenses incurred as part of the rental of your property.
Other items which will need to be included on your tax return can be things such as bank interest received in the year to 5th April 2016, gifts to charity or pension income.
3. Don’t call HMRC
This is the worst time of year to call HMRC – they are always so busy in January dealing with tax queries before the 31st January deadline, and I have known some who have waited over an hour to be connected to someone! Don’t run up your phone bill unnecessarily – there is a wealth of information to be found online regarding your tax return and what you can and can’t claim. The HMRC website is the best place to look first – you’ll probably find the answer you are looking for there.
4. Hire an accountant (me!)
Although you may think you are doing your tax return right, you may not be. An accountant can take away the stress of completing your tax return by passing all your paperwork to them and they sort everything out. Often you will find that what you pay an accountant in fees, they can save you in tax as there will be some expenses and ways of saving tax they will be know of that you will not be aware of.
Sign up is a quick, simple and painless process and you can relaxing knowing everything is in good hands.
5. Plan ahead for next year!
If it has taken you hours searching your house high and low for P60’s, receipts and other paperwork, plan ahead now and make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again next year.
Keep a file for all your receipts and create a spreadsheet to keep track of everything. It doesn’t need to be complicated, just something you can understand and manage as the months tick by.
For more information or help with your tax return give me a call on 01259 692100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org