If you receive a letter from HMRC telling you to send in a tax return, you will, at some point need to complete a self-assessment tax return. There’s no point in putting your head in the sand (however tempting that may be!) There are penalties for late returns. There are also penalties for inaccuracies and errors – so beware!
You need to gather together all your records, which might cover self-employment, employment, pensions, savings and investment income. (Hopefully, you will have kept all these nicely together, so as to avoid the all-to-common, annual hunt-for-the piece-of-paper)
Here’s a list of the general paperwork you’ll need:
- Your P45 or P60
- P11D (expenses & benefits)
- Redundancy or termination payments
- State benefits/social security benefits
- Pensions information
- Dividend vouchers
- Bank interest, Savings & Investment income
- Business expenses you’ve paid for out of your own pocket.
- Exceptional income
- Property Income
- Foreign Income
- Your sole-trader business accounts
(the list goes on, and not all of the above will apply to everyone)
Here are some common mistakes, if you’re submitting your tax return on paper:
- Not signing & dating it
- Not including any supplementary pages needed
- You’ve downloaded the form but not written your UTR (unique tax reference) number on it
- You’ve downloaded and used the form for the wrong year
The self-assessment form has additional pages which you may or may not have to complete – this is dependent on your circumstances. Each of the main sources of income has a section on the tax return or it’s own separate page.
If you complete your tax return online, if you answer the introductory questions correctly, it will automatically include the relevant pages.
Important:- – if you file a paper tax return after the 31 October deadline, there is an automatic £100 fine, because you’ll have missed the deadline for paper returns. Even if you subsequently try and submit one online, the penalty still applies.
(A specific minority of people are unable to file their tax return online. If this exception applies to you, then the £100 fine will not apply, and you will hve until 31 January to file your tax return on paper)
If you need help completing your self-assessment tax return, call Louise on 01604 288024 for help, or use the online form.