It’s the time of the year once again where the deadline for your self assessment tax return approaches. Over 10 million UK tax payers are required to fill one out by the end of January and it has been revealed that over four million have yet to do so, with the deadline just under 20 days away. Last year, almost 900,000 tax payers missed the deadline and had to pay a fine of £100, facing further penalties if they did not pay as soon as possible.
Often, people cite confusion over the process as the reason for their delay, but the form is relatively similar to other online forms. To start the process, you simply need an activation code from HMRC which takes about a week to arrive in the post once it is requested. This means that anyone who requires a code should ask for one before Thursday 21st January, in order to make the deadline. As a general rule, anyone who is self employed or employed but earns extra income will have to fill out a self assessment. If you claim child benefit and your income is over £50,000 you must also complete a self assessment.
Filing your tax return
People doing a self assessment can also claim for tax relief against certain expenses and deductions, so many people choose to have an accountant prepare and file the tax return for them. However, for someone with basic accounts, there is lots of information available online to help.
Here are the top 10 mistakes that people make when filling in their self assessment form:
- Signature and date missing- make sure that you fill this out.
- Incorrect Unique Taxpayer Reference or National Insurance number. Your UTR is located on every correspondence you receive from HMRC.
- Ticking the wrong boxes- take your time when filling the form out.
- Leaving information out- notes such as information to follow will not be accepted by HMRC.
- Bad maths- always double check your calculations.
- Failure to declare all income or capital gains- This can result in severe penalties.
- Forgetting any supplementary pages- If you have any additional income, you’ll need to include supplementary pages with details.
- Claiming unclaimable tax relief- Always check with an accountant as incorrect claims can be fined against.
- Missing deadlines- Paper self assessments should be submitted by the 31st of October of the previous tax year.
- Keep your records tidy- This will ensure you will be stress free when it comes to finding everything that you need to file your return.
You could face a fine even if you submit your return on time, if HMRC believes that you have not taken enough care whilst filling out your self assessment tax return. For this reason, it’s really important to always go back and double check the list above to see if you have missed anything. It may also be worth getting a friend or relative to read over it to see if you have missed anything out, if you do not have an accountant. Lastly, always follow the guidelines from HMRC.