Every year, millions of people leave it until deadline day at the end of January to file their tax returns.
Earlier this year, we wrote about a blunder HMRC made which resulted in an estimated 3.2 million callers not getting the advice they needed to complete tax returns accurately.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Waiting on the phone to HMRC has put some people at risk of debt.”
We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen to you by giving you plenty of warning about the upcoming deadline for the Self Assessment Tax Return. If you are self-employed, a partner in a business or a company director, you’ll want to get ahead of the game.
Let’s face it – the last thing you want to have to think about after Christmas and the New Year festivities are over is filing your tax return. Wouldn’t it feel great to get it out of the way BEFORE the celebrations begin!
The first step is to make sure you’re registered for the HMRC online service. It can take up to 20 days to set up, so get this done straight away. You’ll be sent a unique reference number to use every time you update your records.
Gather your records
Next, make sure your books are up to date and gather all relevant pieces of paper, including your National Insurance number and details of all monies earned and expenses such a bank statements and receipts. You’ll need this to hand when you file your return.
Print your submission
Remember, mistakes happen – print off a copy of what you submit so you can check it over with fresh eyes and amend any errors.
Plan in advance
A last-minute rush to complete things is stressful. Did you know you can file your return any time from the end of the tax year until the end of the following January? There’s no reason at all to leave it until the last minute.
Pay your bill
Finally, don’t forget to pay your bill! Once you’ve found out how much you owe, put a note in your diary straight away. You don’t want to face penalties for late payment, now you’ve made the effort to file on time!
Nearly one million people miss the deadline each year, resulting in penalties. For example, if you file your tax return three months late you’ll pay a £1,000 fine. You’ve got better things to do with your money than pay for something that could be avoided.