Author: JW / / Latest News
Online Tax Return deadline is fast approaching but how do you file yours? Below are Tax Return Tips for those who are filing for the first time or need a refresher.
What is a Self Assessment Tax Return?
Self Assessment Tax Return is the way HMRC collect Income Tax from those who haven’t paid it throughout the year. Be that through PAYE (Pay As You Earn) schemes or other ways. The Tax Return is for the previous tax year, so this year (January 2018) will be for 2016/2017. So, that is from April 6th 2016 to April 5th 2017. The Deadline for filing online is midnight on 31st of January. This is the same every year. If you miss the deadline you will face a £100 penalty. Payments to HMRC cannot be paid on a personal credit card or via the Post Office any more.
Do I Need to Complete One?
If this is the first you are hearing about Self Assessment Tax Returns, then probably no. Here is a list of those that will need to complete a Tax Return:
- Self Employed
- Company Director
- Annual Income is £100,000 or more
- You are a partner in a business partnership
- You get income from overseas
- You need to claim expenses or reliefs
- You got £2,500 or more in untaxed income
- Your income from savings or investments was £10,00 or more before tax
- Your Income from dividends from shares was £10,000 or more before tax
- made profit on selling shares or other chargeable assets and need to pay Capital Gains Tax
- Yours or your partners income was over £50,000 and one of you claimed Child Benefits
- Had income from abroad which you need to pay tax on
- You live abroad and had a UK income
- You were a trustee of a trust or registered pension scheme
- You received a P800 from HMRC stating you hadn’t paid enough tax last year and didn’t pay through your tax code or with voluntary payment
- State Pension was higher than your Personal Allowance and was your only source of income. (Unless you started getting your pension on or after 6th April ’16.
There could be other reasons why you need to send a Tax Return. You can check if you need to here.
How do I complete a Tax Return?
First of all if you haven’t completed an online Self Assessment Tax Return before then you will need to register for Gov.uk Verify and Government Gateway. This will then send you an activation code that you will need. This can take up to 10 days for you to receive. This is different from registering for Self Assessment itself, which you should have done by 5th October.
If you have already got a login and password but forgotten it, you can visit this page to try and resolve your problem. www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-services/problems-signing-in.
What Records You Will Need
The most important records will be your bank statements. From these you can work out what income you have received and what you have paid out. The easiest way to do this might be to export you bank statements into a spreadsheet, this can be done from your online banking. Having your National Insurance Number, P60 and (if you have one) a P11d handy could save time when sitting down to do your Tax Return.
Once You Have All Your Records
Once you have all your records in one place including any income and dividends, benefits and pension contributions it’s time to start. If you are doing your own Tax Return remember to take your time and be sure you’re filling it in correctly. You’ve already done the hard work already getting all your information together, finding that last fuel receipt from out of your footwell, and your P60 out of that ‘safe place’ (so safe you forgot where it was). There is on screen help whilst filling out your Tax Return, and you can always tweet HMRC by starting your tweet with @HMRCcustomers.
Some Good Tips
Remember when you’re filling out your Tax return the system can save your progress. This means you can find out some more information then come back to it if you need to, or to break it down into chunks and spread the time spent over multiple sessions.
There is always the ability to go back and alter parts of your Tax Return before you’ve submitted it. So don’t think you can’t go back and correct it before you press submit. This also means if you’ve saved your progress to seek advice from the many resources on HMRC’s website or called an advisor for help, you can go back and amend sections.
And, finally once you press submit, don’t forget to Save and Print. This will allow you to keep it for your records, which you are required to keep for 5 years. You can now put it with your other records and put them back in that ‘safe place’ for next year.
For Next Year
For next year to make things easier, keep a good log of your income and outgoings. This will help save time next year. If you keep adding to a spreadsheet this will save time next year. Alternatively, use a cloud based program such as Xero, Sage or Quickbooks (all programs that we are affluent with and can help you use). This will keep all transactions in one place meaning your next Tax Return will be quicker and easier.
Another way to keep your Self Assessment Tax Return for next year quicker and easier is to talk to us about it. Our dedicated and experienced Tax team will take the time, efforts and stress away from filing your return. For more information contact us.