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How to make your Self Assessment returns stress free

by Scott Brown | Dec 11, 2014
  • Tax season has arrived, and if you missed the 31 October paper tax deadline, you may be putting off that moment when you have to sit down, pull together your tax year’s financial details and submit your Self Assessment form by the 31 January online deadline.

    Everyone who has to submit a tax return will have to send it in before midnight on 31 January 2015. If you don’t you will be subject to a £100 late filing penalty and run the risk of a surcharge on tax paid after the deadline. You can avoid drawing the attention of HMRC and get your refunds earlier if you submit ahead of schedule, so don’t leave it until the last minute.

    Proper preparation is key

    If you’re new to contracting and Self Assessment, the first thing you’ll need is your Unique Taxpayer reference (UTR). You will be issued one when you register for Self Assessment.

    Next you will need to get all of your invoices, dividend payments, bank statements, travel receipts and expense claims in one place and sort through them. It’s good practice to keep all claimable expenses from the get-go, as HMRC can request proof of past claims and can impose a fine for missing information. A good, simple filing system is best as you’ll want to be able to keep this updated moving forward in order to avoid a mad scramble next year.

    Submitting your Self Assessment

    Now that you have all your info prepped, it’s a matter of following the instructions and entering your data correctly - for the most part.

    It’s important to note that the figures you enter need to be as close to accurate as possible. HMRC understand that it is not always possible to gather all of your data so they do allow you to provide estimates where needed - just don’t forget to provide them with the exact figures at the soonest possible time.

    It’s tempting to leave your tax return to the last minute or ignore it completely and hope that you don't end up with a tax bill to pay, but filing your tax return early will help you avoid that last-minute rush and the headache that goes with it. Whether you’re self-employed, the director of a limited company or a contractor, tax doesn’t need to be that taxing, so best get it done now.

    If you are unsure whether or not you need to submit a tax return, or if need a hand, contact our accounting team and we will do the hard work for you. We can assist you with all of your financial needs, from bookkeeping to tax advice and financial planning.

    Call us on +44 (0) 20 7759 7553 or email us on and we will be happy to help.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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