If you’re self-employed or the director of a limited company, then you’re no stranger to the dreaded Self-Assessment tax return. It’s not uncommon for many directors to hold off completing their tax return till the very last minute but that’s a recipe for making mistakes that can cost you a lot of money now or in the future.
If you want to find out which areas of your tax return to take special care in when completing, just read on…
Miss the deadline to submit your tax return
Everyone’s busy however it’s important to stay on top of your priorities and submitting your Self-Assessment on time is one of them. Missing the submission deadline for the Self-Assessment Tax Return is a very easy and common mistake to make however the stress and complications that it can cause later on are significant.
You can easily avoid missing the deadline by starting work on your self assessment as early as possible. All you need to do is set aside some time to complete the parts of the form that you can and save that progress before returning to it later
Online Self-Assessments should be submitted by 31st January. Failure to do so will result in a penalty from HMRC, which can be as high as £100 for tax returns submitted 3 months late.
Write down the incorrect numbers
When your filling out any important document, you should always check that the information is right – and then double check for good measure. It’s vital that the figures and calculations in your Self-Assessment are correct.
Human errors are often hard to avoid and that’s why it’s not unknown for taxpayers to accidently type in wrong numbers. If you have an accountant to fill in your form, remember that s/he can only work with the information you give them. That’s why you should always check your form for accuracy before submitting it to HMRC – you might remember something you’ve forgotten to send your accountant earlier
If your return does contain errors, then HMRC can prosecute you if they believe that the mistakes on tax returns were intentional. However, if you do make a mistake, don’t worry – you have 12 months from the due date to correct any errors in your tax return.
Forget to declare all your forms of income
When you are declaring your income on your Self-Assessment tax return, make sure to include the following if they apply to you:
- Capital Gains
- Share schemes for employees
- Interest/dividends from bank accounts, savings etc.
- Government benefits (maternity/paternity pay, statutory sick pay, job seekers allowance etc.)
- Income from letting properties
- Foreign income
For the full list, you should visit GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tax-credits-working-out-income
Put the wrong National insurance number or Unique Taxpayer Reference
Filing out your form with the correct National Insurance number and Unique Taxpayer reference is vital. If you fail to do this, your Self-Assessment Tax Return will be returned as incomplete.
You can find out your National Insurance number on old pay slips and tax documents whilst your Unique Taxpayer Reference is a ten-digit number. If this isn’t your first time submitting a Self-Assessment Tax Return then you can find both pieces of information on any of your correspondence with HMRC.
If it’s your first time filing a Self-Assessment Tax Return then you need to tell HMRC using their online form. After you have done this, they will send your Unique Taxpayer Reference so that you can complete your tax return correctly.
However, you should take note that HMRC can take up to 6 weeks to issue your Unique Taxpayer Reference so make sure to apply well before the January 31st deadline to submit your tax return.
Help with Self Assessment
Contact TWP Accounting on 01932 704700 or email your TWP partner if we can assist you in any way with your Self Assessment.