If you’ve recently become self-employed or need to complete a tax return for any other reason, chances are you may be feeling somewhat confused about what is expected of you.
Most people who work for an employer directly never have to worry about self-assessment as their tax and NI are removed from their pay at source. However, tax can seem like a minefield if you are personally responsible for filing a return and ensuring you are paying the correct amounts. Read on to find out more about the steps you need to take to submit tax returns.
When do I need to file by?
The online deadline for filing a tax return is January 31st each year, with the paper deadline falling on 31st October. The information that you provide to HMRC enables the organisation to calculate your tax bill and decide whether you are entitled to a refund.
The longer you put off filing your tax return, the bigger the chances of you missing the deadline become. You will be fined £100 for filing just one day late, with the penalties getting much more severe the longer you wait.
How can I file online?
If you wish to file your tax return online, you will need to register to receive an activation code. Once this arrives through the post, you can activate your online account. Make sure you have all the relevant information available before you start to complete your return.
You may require documents including payslips, a P11D and a P60 as well as bank statements and details on pension contributions. It can take a while for some of this information to come through, which is another reason why it’s so important to get the ball rolling early.
Can I complete my return in stages?
Check your personal details are correct when you log on. You will be asked a number of questions about income from self-employment and employment, property, savings interest, money from investments, gains and more. Depending on your personal circumstances, many of the questions may or may not be irrelevant to you.
You don’t have to go through the whole process in one sitting, and you can save the information you have submitted and return to it later. Don’t submit your return until you are sure everything is correct. When the return is submitted, you will see a confirmation message on your screen as well as a reference number.
What if I can’t file on time?
Late filing comes with tough penalties, and although HMRC may accept some ‘reasonable’ excuses like the death of a partner, there are no guarantees that you can avoid being penalised for missing the deadline. The penalties for late filing are generally much greater than those for delayed payments, so submit your return even if you don’t quite have the funds needed to settle the tax bill.
Talk to One Click Group
If you do need help with staying on top of your tax obligations and reducing the admin burden that comes with self-assessment, talk to One Click Group today. You can contact us by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, using the form on the website or by calling us on 0345 557 1287 .
Along with over 13 years experience in the contractor payroll industry, and after spending most of his working life as a financial advisor in the regulated financial services industry, Mike has garnered an extensive network of contacts in the recruitment industry, many of whom trust both him and the One Click Group to handle their accounting. Mike has also been a member of various industry bodies throughout the years, such as the British Institute of Recruiters, in order to champion best practices across the contractor payroll industry.