Is your tax return in the procrastination pile?

Do you put off doing your tax return? Is it one of ‘those’ tasks that can always been done tomorrow? If you leave completing your tax return until the last minute, then maybe you are putting other financial issues in the procrastination pile too.

Do you put off doing your tax return? Is it one of 'those' tasks that can always been done tomorrow? If you leave completing your tax return until the last minute, then maybe you are putting other financial issues in the procrastination pile too.

In our first blog post we're going to give you some tips and hopefully some motivation to get organised financially so that you don't put off completing your tax return.

Last year almost three quarters of a million people missed the tax deadline thus incurring penalties. 

So let's start at the beginning- make sure you need to do one. In general, you need to complete a return if you are self employed or have other untaxed income such as rent from property. We can help with any queries or you can check up yourself on HMRC website here.  

Secondly, you need to register. This can take up to 20 working days so make sure you do in advance. If you are worried about running out of time you can contact us, it may be quicker to set up a personal tax account and use that for your return.

The next step is to get all the relevant information together. This includes P60/P45/P11D, PAYE coding notices and tax certificates for investments. If you're self-employed you'll need all your records (we hope you've kept them all) bank statements, sales invoices etc.

Now you are ready to complete the form, it should be straightforward, but you need to make sure that you have the correct information and sometimes that means having the best advice. If you any queries that you'd like answered please get in touch, we'd love to help.

Below are some top tips to remember

  • Don't leave things out, try and make sure you add everything in. Estimate if you have to; if you've left it too late and there's some paperwork outstanding that's not going to get to you in time, you can submit an estimated return and update it when the paperwork arrives. You won't pay a fine for this – whereas you will if you wait for the paperwork in order to submit the return.
  • Remember to include all your gift aid donations made during the year. If you are a higher rate taxpayer and you donated £100 using gift aid, the total value of your donation to the charity was £125, so if you pay tax at 40% you can personally claim back £25.
  • Be careful not to mix up net with gross. This is a common mistake made.
  • Are you on the correct tax code? Many taxpayers may well be paying too much (or too little) tax as a result of having the wrong tax code. To check if you're on the right one you can check here for an idea.
  • If you are a property owner, you can claim all revenue expenses (letting agent fees, mortgage interest, replacement of appliances etc) but you can't claim for capital expenditure such as improvements to the property.
  • If you are letting out a room in your own home, is it more tax-efficient for you to claim the annual £7,500 (£3,750 if you share the income with your partner) Rent a Room Schemeallowance?
  • If you claim business miles from your employer and they pay you less than the HMRC maximum approved mileage rate(45p for the first 10,000 miles and 25p a mile above this), you can claim the difference.
  • Can you claim for subscription charges? If you are a member of a professional body required for your employment, you can often include the cost of the subscriptionas an allowable deduction.
  • Make sure you remember to include your state pension figures. Although the state pension is paid gross, it is still taxable and needs to be included on your tax return.
  • Finally, don't fall at the last hurdler and forget to pay what you owe!

Remember, we offer a professional, personal and effective solution to all of your taxation needs. We use our expertise to complete this work quickly and accurately; drawing upon our experience to explore opportunities and identify potential problems and head them off before they arise.