Top tips for filing your Self-Assessment tax return
If you have to submit a Self-Assessment tax return to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), you only have a few weeks left to submit it online. The clock is ticking on the 31 January 2022 online tax return deadline – miss it, and you could face fines.
The 2020/21 tax return covers earnings and payments during the pandemic, including any taxable grants or payments from COVID-19 support schemes up to 5 April 2021. To help you get your return in on time, here is some advice:
Don’t leave it until the last minute
You’re more likely to make mistakes or miss out important information if you leave it too late. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that tax returns submitted just before the deadline are more likely to be subject to HMRC enquiries and investigations.
Save time, be prepared
When the tax year ends on 5 April, you can start getting prepared for submitting your tax return right away. If you collect information throughout the year and stay on top of your bookkeeping, you’ll save valuable time when it comes to filling in your tax return. Plus, if you do need to get in touch with HMRC, you’ll avoid the last-minute rush in January.
Organisation is key
Make sure all of your paperwork and details are prepared ahead of time, including:
- Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number (you need to register for one if you’ve not completed a Self-Assessment tax return before)
- National Insurance number
- Details of all your income; for example, if you also have rental income or have earned bank/building society interest, or have received dividend payments
- Records of relevant business expenses.
If you are still using a paper return now is a great time to switch. Registering to file online makes it easier to upload all the information that HMRC needs from you. You don’t need to do it all in one go – simply save your form and fill it in when you have the time.
Keep track of income and expenses
Keep accurate records of income and what you’ve claimed as business expenses throughout the tax year so that you’re ready to go, including:
- Bank statements
- Chequebooks and paying-in slips
- Credit card statements
- Sales invoices/till rolls
- Job quotes or estimates
- Purchase invoices and expense receipts
- Payroll records
- VAT records.
This information will make completing your return much easier. Sick of paper records? Have you considered cloud accounting? Taking your record-keeping online could help to cut back on the paperwork you have to retain and automate many bookkeeping processes.
Budget in advance
Once you’ve submitted your return, you can manage any surprises within your tax bill by budgeting in advance and getting ahead if you need to make any payments on account.
If you don’t fancy going it alone, why not hand the hard work to us. Every year we produce hundreds of tax returns for clients. If you need help, don’t delay. Get your Self-Assessment information over to us today.