What you Need to Know About the New Tax Year

tax year 2018

In the UK, the tax year runs from April 6th until April 5th the following year. If you haven’t done so already, you will need to fill in a tax return. If you haven’t created a return yet, you will be notified by the HMRC that you need to do so. If you are unsure on if you need a tax return, you can check on the government website. In general, you will need to create a tax return if you are self-employed, or if you earn an income part time away from your full-time job.

Who needs to file a Tax Return?

Tax Returns are not just for those who are self-employed. You will need a tax return if you fall under any of the following:

  • Your taxable income is above £100,000
  • You have an income from abroad
  • If you have earned money from selling a second home, shares or other assets
  • You or your partner’s income exceeded £50 000 when claiming Child Benefit
  • Your income from any savings is £10,000 or more before tax

There are other factors that contribute to whether you will need to fill in a self-assessment for the HMRC. If you are still unsure of whether you’re eligible to file a tax return, call the HMRC Helpline, where a member of staff will be able to help you further. If you are in full-time employment and do not earn money outside of your contracted job, any tax you owe will be automatically deducted each month from your pay. You will not have to set this up, as it is automatically put in place by your employer. If you believe you are on the wrong tax code, if you have been paid too little tax, or if you believe that the HMRC owes you money from emergency tax, we suggest calling the HMRC Tax Code Contact Number.

Important Dates for the 2018 Tax Year

  • January 31st – The first payment of the tax year
  • April 5th – This is the end of the previous tax year, and means that if you need to file a return, that you should do so before this date. This might be different if you are newly self-employed, as you may only need to file a return the following April.
  • July 31st – The second payment of the year
  • October 5th – This is when you need to speak to the HMRC about your capital gain and further income aside from your regular income. You also need to register as self-employed by this date.
  • October 31st – You will need to send your paper tax return by this date. Sending your paper tax return after this date might mean that you are charged a penalty fee
  • December 31st – When filing a tax return online, this is the date in which it will need to be submitted.

The Tax Credit Deadline is Getting Nearer

In a previous article, we spoke about whether or not you are eligible to receive child -tax credits. If you are a parent that does receive child tax credits, you will know that every April your situation is assessed and your claim is renewed for the following year. Many recipients will simply get an overview of what they receive and their income will carry on as normal. However, some need to fill out the form they receive and send it back (this is usually if your situation has changed and you are now entitled to a smaller or larger amount of money), and the deadline is fast approaching. Unfortunately, missing the deadline can result in your payments stopping altogether as the DWP don’t have your up to date details. According to HMRC, by the end of this month (31st July) around 3 million claimants will need to have renewed their child tax credits. Not leaving your renewal until the last minute is beneficial because not only will your payments be stopped, you will also be asked to pay back the money you have received since April as there will be no proof that you are lawfully entitled to claim it. Person renewing child tax credits

How do I renew my credits?

If you have left until now to renew when you are required to, don’t worry it can be quickly and easily done. Changes in circumstances that need to be reported to HMRC include changes to employment eg working hours or income and a change in your childcare costs. The easiest way to report these is to do it online via Gov.UK, or if you have a smartphone HMRC have a handy new app, which is really simple and convenient to use. The benefits you receive will differ depending on your financial situation so it is important that you give the right information, so as not to miss out on the benefits you deserve. In the same sense, if you accidentally receive too many without knowing, you will be expected to pay this back, which may understandably have a strain on your finances. As mentioned before, the child tax credit pack you receive in April will either require you to respond or just require you to ensure all the information HMRC has for you in correct. If your letter features the words ‘reply now’ then it means your information requires updating, before the 31st July. If it has the words ‘check now’ you will just need to check over the form to see if any misinformation has been printed, and if this is the case, inform HMRC straight away.

HMRC are encouraging people to renew their credits online as it is quick and convenient. However, if you are having any problems with your online form, then please do contact HMRC via the contact number. There is also a webchat facility that is available from HMRC for any minor issues. The new online renewal system is understandably a godsend to many who have waited in endless phone-line queues in the past as people attempt to renew before the deadline.

Keep Calm and Carry On – HMRC Assures Panicked Taxpayers

A shock EU referendum result has rocked the UK in the past week, and the effects that will ensue are concerning the majority of its citizens. There is no doubt that tough times are ahead, particularly where the economy is concerned, and it seems people are fretting over just how much of our system is going to be affected. HMRC has issued a message to reassure the nationwww.hmrctalk.co.uk that nothing has changed…yet.

HMRC were quick to issue a ‘carry on’ message that stated that no laws were changed since the result was released and a Brexit confirmed. The message is cleverly recorded and played out when the helpline is called. The audio assures callers of no change to any taxes, tax credits, general HMRC services or child benefits as a result of the referendum. Although it is somewhat of a given that financial services will change in the future, in the immediate aftermath, nothing has, or will be altered. Those that didn’t vote for a Brexit, or even those that did, are desperately anticipating the political changes that are in store. As chaos ensues, HMRC stresses that there is no need to contact HMRC as a result of the referendum as everything will run as normal.

There is no denying that the country is now at a risk of recession after leaving the European Union, and when the bigger picture is viewed, there will almost certainly be changes to tax laws and benefits, but if people start jumping the gun and ignoring tax deadlines, a financial deficit will come much sooner than expected.

Following the controversial result of the referendum, was the resignation of Prime minister David Cameron, which plunges the UK into further uncertainty. As a result of the UK’s departure, article 50 must be put into place, David Cameron has announced that it will not be triggered until a new Prime minister has been elected and there is a clearer picture of the country’s future. He wants to leave the dealings of article 50 (rules that apply to how a state leaves the EU) to his successor, as he notoriously campaigned for a ‘remain’ result. It is now left to decide who is strong enough to actually get things under way, with the risk of the collapse of a country on their shoulders. With so much at stake it begs the question, will the UK actually leave the Eu at all? The process has yet to begin and will definitely be a slow and lengthy one.

In agreement with David Cameron, Leave campaigners such as Boris Johnson and George Osbourne have agreed that Article 50 should not be triggered immediately, with a slow and careful exit of the EU being safer and more logical. Whilst assuring us that the economy was in a strong enough state for what was to happen, he told people to expect a hard process of adjustment and uncertainty as this will be inevitable. He has, however, been sure to say that relationships with the EU will not change overnight.

HMRC to Send Out Thankyou Letters

Ever paid your taxes and felt begrudged because you were never acknowledged? Ever wondered who actually receives them and what they actually go towards? Ever wanted a simple thank-you for giving half your earnings away only to be left on the phone for hours on end? Well then you might just be in luck thanks to HMRC Australia. It recently emerged that in total we waited a huge 4 million hours on the phone for HMRC to deal with our various tax related issues last year and as a result HMRC has decided to pay back a slight bit of kindness and send out thank-you letters for our patience, much to the surprise of many. Our friends down under already receive thank-you letters when they have made a tax payment, albeit automated, but still, it’s the thought that counts. Not only does the letter thank people for their tax contribution, it also tells them how the Australian government plans to spend the money, a welcome enlightenment for some.www.hmrctalk.co.uk

Accountants are concerned that a thank-you letter to British tax payers may not be so willingly received, but nevertheless the issue has been raised in from of the Public Accounts Committee in the House of Commons during the annual tax summaries and it has been concluded that a small thank-you may be included on tax summary letters in the future. It has been decided that the new gesture will be tested out on the public and in a matter of weeks it will be decided whether or not this is the way forward.

It is not unusual for HMRC to be under scrutiny for their customer service, but recently waiting times have been somewhat of a disaster for callers wanting to pay tax. A near total collapse in the organisation’s ability to take calls just last year is what triggered the need for a turnaround and a fresh outlook on how it deals with the public. The issue was brought up at the tax summaries meeting by former Labour Cabinet Minister, who jokes about the ludicrous waiting times, asking what songs should be played during the four million hours that tax payers remained on hold, with Blondie’s ‘hanging on the telephone’ being her number one suggestion. Jokes aside, ministers were challenged and it was promised that a number of measures have been put into place to ensure things never get that bad again. HMRC’s new chief executive Jon Thompson has admitted that the waiting period was unacceptable and hopes to have all calls answered within five minutes by the end of March next year. There has been predictions that tax payer’s will find the thankyou letter no more than an annoyance after waiting on the phone for a significant amount of time, due a declining service. There are also qualms that the new letters would come at a great expense to HMRC.