Completing and submitting your Self-Assessment Tax Return to HMRC can be a daunting task for many. By having yours prepared well in advance of the 31st January deadline, you can make your life easier by removing some of the stress and hassle that accompanies a last-minute submission.

Not only are you risking missing the deadline, but you are also putting additional stress and worry on yourself to get it right in a short window of time; not to mention the influx of submissions that are likely to take place at the end of January, putting strain on HMRC systems which could affect your submission.

HMRC will impose a fine for late submission, which increases with the delay and they can endorse financial penalties for errors or incorrect information supplied.  Around a million people and businesses are fined up to £1,200 each year, do not be one of these people! We strongly recommend you prepare and file your tax return in advance, while avoiding many common mistakes that are often made.

1. Getting your National Insurance number and Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) wrong

Seems simple but can happen. This will delay your tax return and at worst, be an expensive and time-consuming mistake to rectify.

Your National Insurance number (NI) and Unique Taxpayer Reference are unique to you. Your NI is made up of nine letters and numbers and ensures your National Insurance contributions (NICs) and taxes are recorded against your name only. You UTR is a ten-digit reference number that will be on any correspondence you receive from HMRC.

2. Not providing full and comprehensive information

Failure to provide details of all incomes and capital gains to HMRC could lead to not only financial penalties, but prosecution if it is deemed a source of income has been deliberately omitted. Most of the income information that HMRC require is widely known, but for clarity, it is imperative that the following incomes and capital gains are declared:

  • Income from employment
  • Dividends
  • Employee share schemes
  • Capital gains
  • Bank or building society such as interest or dividends from savings, bank accounts, building societies investments or Trusts etc.
  • Benefits i.e., maternity, or paternity pay, statutory sick pay, job seekers allowance
  • Pension
  • Property income such as rent
  • Foreign income including evidence of tax already paid abroad
    There are some tax-exempt incomes or capital gains such as:

  • Interest, dividends, or bonuses from tax-exempt investments such as ISAs and National Savings & Investments Savings Certificates.
  • Interest and terminal bonuses from Save As You Earn schemes.
  • Gambling prize wins and competitions, Premium Bond, and National Lottery
  • Court awards for damages for personal injury or death.

3. Providing incorrect figures

Calculations and figures provided must be accurate and supported with relevant evidence, and must not be guesses or estimations, as these will not be accepted. Check all calculations and any formulas used are correct, again ensuring that information and incomes are not deliberately omitted.

4. Keeping relevant documents and records

Records and statements to support your submission are required, should HMRC raise a query. If you are unable to supply these then you are at risk of receiving a financial penalty. So always keep these documents safe and to hand as soon as you receive them:

  • P60, P45 or P11D
  • Capital gains
  • Employee share schemes
  • Bank statements
  • Expense records such as receipts
  • Benefits i.e., maternity, or paternity pay, statutory sick pay, job seekers allowance
  • Pension records
  • Property income
  • Foreign income including evidence of tax already paid abroad
  • Student loan payments

5. Not acting upon mistakes made

Some people do not realise that once your self-assessment tax return is submitted and you realise you have made a mistake; it is still possible to fix it. Act as soon as you realise, and you can save yourself potential issues further down the line.

If you would like to avoid running the risk of these delays or mistakes and avoid penalties, fines, and miscalculations with your Self-Assessment Tax Return, then Beanz Accountancy Solutions can do it for you. You can purchase a one-off self-assessment package for £95 +VAT using this unique Christmas offer link, or you will receive this service each year with any of our monthly packages which start at £27.99 +VAT per month, for sole Traders, up to £70 +VAT per month for Limited Companies.

You can find out more about our monthly packages here.

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