Here are some last minute tips to help you complete your tax return correctly and on time!
Filling your tax return can be a stressful task if you’re staring at a pile of unorganised tax forms, receipts and invoices. Similarly if you aren’t an online whiz kid, the task may be equally as daunting, regardless of your organisational skills. Firstly, don’t panic- help is at hand!
Who needs to complete a tax return?
You may think it is only those who are self-employed that need to complete a tax return, however if you are a parent who earns £50,000 or more you will have to complete a tax return to pay back some or all of the child benefit you’ve received in the 13 week period from 7th January to 5th April 2013.
HMRC estimates that around 1.2 million families will be affected by the new legislation passed in March 2012 that claws back a proportion or all of the child benefit received. Parents affected by this new rule, will have to register with the HMRC in order to complete a self-assessment.
There are certain circumstances in which you will always need to complete a tax return, for example, if you are:
- a company director
- a trustee
- receiving foreign income
If you are unsure whether you need to file a return you can find an introduction to self-assessment on the HMRC website here https://www.gov.uk/self-assessment-tax-returns#1
Where do I complete the tax return?
Complete your return at:
Beware of copycat websites that claim to be HMRC. You could risk paying your tax to criminals who have created similar websites to the HMRC in order to cash in on unsuspecting web users. To avoid this go direct to the HMRC website (as above) rather than searching for ‘tax return’ or ‘hmrc’ on Google.
How do I register?
If you’ve previously filed a return online, HMRC will already have your details if you haven’t done so you will need to register at:
Normally you will then be sent a Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number and an Activation Code by post. They will take a few days to arrive – so do it now!
HMRC says that if you register by 21 January you should be able to meet the deadline for filing 10 days later.
Once you’ve registered and have received your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) you can begin your self-assessment. The online form will work out the tax due based on all the information you give. If you have problems or questions call the self-assessment helpline 0300 200 3310. Charges are the same as normal 01 and 02 numbers.
Remember that any tax due needs to be paid by 31st January to avoid a fine. If you have the funds available in your account the best way to pay is through direct transfer which happens at once. If you opt to pay by credit or debit card be aware that it could take up to 3 working days to clear so 28th will then be your deadline. Credit cards carry a 1.4% surcharge so take note of that too.
Now’s the time to ditch those excuses, regardless of whether your goldfish has died or the dog ate your paperwork, you will risk a fine of £100 if you fail to submit your tax return on time. This fine could spiral up to £1,600 if you delay further.
Get your tax return done and out of the way for another year- today!