Here are our 7 top tips to ensure you get your tax return submitted painlessly and on time.
1. Firstly you need to know whether or not you have to submit a Self Assessment tax return. If you are unsure you can check here.
2. Start planning early. During April HMRC may send you a reminder. Open a file, put the letter in the file and keep that file for everything you will need.
3. Be aware of what documentation you require. As it becomes available add it to your file. Typical examples are:
• P60 – shows your salary and tax paid for the year
• P11D – shows your employee benefits e.g. company car
• Annual interest summary from your bank or building society
4. Check your tax code, otherwise you could be paying too little or too much tax during the year. Your tax code is based on the information HMRC already has and may not be accurate. For example if you start receiving benefits, your tax code may not take this into consideration. If you think your tax code is incorrect, get in touch with HMRC.
5. Pay attention to any taxation updates coming into force. Listen to the news, review Budget summaries, read information sent to you in the post.
6. Know how you are going to submit you tax return well in advance. Most people submit their tax returns online nowadays and to do this you need to sign up for HMRC online services. You can register here. Are you going to complete the return by yourself or are you going to enlist some help? If you are going to do your own submission online make sure you know how to access the HMRC website and have your user ID and password details to hand.
7. And finally, do it well before the deadline. That way if there is a nasty surprise, at least you will have time to come to terms with it and find the money due before the payment deadline.