- 02 Apr
Top 5 Tips For Completing HMRC’s Online Self Assessment
1. Choose how you will submit your return
If you are completing your tax return yourself you will need to decide whether you are going to submit a paper return or an online version. In 2014 more than 84% of people chose to submit their return online.
Completing your return can be a complicated and time consuming task so ensure that allow enough time to complete it or enlist the help of an accountant who can either complete the return on your behalf or assist you with the process.
2. Remember the deadlines
Make sure you take a note of when your return needs to be submitted by to ensure that you do not incur a penalty.
The deadlines for 2014/15 are:
- October 31st 2015 for paper returns
- January 31st 2016 for online returns
3. Be organised
Being organised with your records will make life much easier when it ‘s to time to complete your return. Ensure that you file the following documentation throughout the year:
- Total income
- Bank Statements
- Copy of P60 or P45
- Income form any property you own
- All business expenses incurred during the year
- Payments that have already been deducted from your income such as pension contributions
- Details of any National Insurance that you have already paid
Your accountant will be able to provide you with a full list of the information that will be required.
In addition, ensure that you retain all of your financial records, including expense receipts and sales receipts, for seven years as HMRC can request to view them at any point until then.
4. Claim your business costs as business expenses
Don’t forget that you can claim tax relief on businesses expenses that have been incurred solely for your business. These may take the form of equipment that you have purchased or even a proportion of your phone bill if you are using it for both business and personal use.
5. Avoid penalties
As obvious as this may sound, ensure that you submit your return on time, if not you will face an automatic penalty of £100. Once you are 3 months late the fine becomes £10 for each day that you are overdue, up to a maximum of £900 or 90 days. If you have still not submitted your return 6 months after the deadline you will incur a penalty of either £300 or 5% of the total tax due, whichever is greater.