You are here: Home - Saving & Banking - News - Understanding -

New to self-assessment? Why you should start your tax return this week

0
Written by: Paloma Kubiak
15/01/2018
There are less than three weeks to submit your tax return but if you’re new to self-assessment, you need to allow more time to register and receive codes to complete it online

You may know the deadline to file your 2016/17 tax return and pay any tax owed is 31 January 2018.

But many people new to self-assessment could fall foul of the deadline and be issued with an automatic £100 fine by not allowing enough time for the registration process.

If you’ve never registered for self-assessment, you can’t submit your tax return online. The deadline for submitting paper returns has already passed (31 October 2017).

It’s not simply about sifting through old paperwork and working out your expenses and profit; you need to register for self-assessment – whether you’re self-employed or not – to get your registration pack with your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and activation code. It should take around three minutes to register.

Once you have your registration pack, UTR and activation code for the government gateway ID, you need these to register separately for the self-assessment online service.

You will see a 5 October 2017 deadline to register for self-assessment – HM Revenue & Customs confirms you can still register now.

This whole process can take up to 10 working days (21 if you’re abroad) so by completing this part this week, you’ll have the rest of the time to get on top of your accounts.

HMRC reports that around 50,000 tax returns were filed over the festive period, including 2,590 on Christmas Day and over 17,000 on New Year’s Day. It added that millions of returns will be submitted online over the next 16 days.

Around 800,000 people missed the deadline last year, resulting in an automatic £100 penalty.

Sarah Ghaffari, ICAEW technical tax manager, said: “It’s not just about the time it takes to submit your self-assessment tax return. You need to factor in enough time to track down and prepare the relevant paper work such as P60s, pension statements, possibly P11Ds and bank statements.

“If it’s your first year of submitting a self-assessment tax return you can sign up to file your return online. HMRC will send you an activation code in the post, which can take up to 10 days to arrive.”

Top tips to make your tax return as smooth as possible

ICAEW gives the following tips:

  1. Doing your return with plenty of time to spare, instead of rushing to the finish line, means you can take the time to check it over properly
  2. Make sure you have details about your employment income, find your P60 your P11D, which outlines details of expenses and benefits
  3. You will also need information on any dividend receipts as well as interest statements from banks and building societies
  4. Double check you have details of pension contributions made
  5. And don’t forget you can claim tax relief on charitable giving. Do you have records of all your gift aid payments – did you sponsor your friends to run for charity?

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Are you a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage?

Look no further, get the help you need by searching for your perfect mortgage

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

Which ISA is right for you? A round up of the six products available in 2017

From cash to innovative finance to lifetime, here's our guide to the ISA products available to savers this yea...

Guide to buy-to-let tax changes

In late 2015, former Chancellor George Osborne announced a range of  tax measures aimed at landlords, which t...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Five fund tips for a 0.25% interest rate environment

With interest rates stuck at a record low 0.25% and expectations rates could fall to close to zero, here are ...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Investing your money

Alliance Trust Plc gives you smart insight into how to invest your money

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
stamp duty
Council tax rises over 50% in real terms

Seven years after the introduction of the council tax freeze scheme in 2010, inflation-busting increases are back, finds a new...

Close