By Dave Allworthy on 2nd January 2018

5 tips for a quick and easy self-assessment

Now that the festivities are out of the way and everyone gets back to normal, if you haven’t already done your 2016-17 self-assessment tax return, make sure it’s on your New Year to-do list, as there are just a few weeks left to submit it.

Don’t be late to the party

It’s easy to let the self-assessment deadline of midnight on 31st January creep up on you and a huge number of people still leave it to the last minute. Last year HMRC received a staggering 768,905 returns on deadline day with 33,000 filed in the final hour before the midnight cutoff point.

However, 840,000 people, equivalent to 1 in 14 taxpayers, were late to submit their online return. They faced an immediate £100 penalty with a further £10 added for every day after that up to 90 days, plus interest.

If you are yet to file your self-assessment, here are our top 5 tips for making the process as quick and painless as possible:

1. Make sure you can log in

You (or your accountant) won’t be able to submit your tax return online unless you have registered with HMRC and have a login for the Government Gateway. You will also need your Unique Tax Reference (UTR). This is a 10-digit number which will be on your self-assessment paperwork from HMRC.
What to do if you can’t find your UTR.

2. Get your paperwork together

Before you start, make sure you have all the paperwork you need to hand. This includes records of all your personal and business income and expenditure including a P60 or P45, P11D, invoices, dividend vouchers, bank statements and receipts. All this will be hard to round up if you leave it to 11.30pm on 31st January!

3. Check and double check

Now to work your way through the online form. Make sure you complete every section correctly and allow time to thoroughly check every part of your self assessment before you hit submit. Even a simple mistake, such as not ticking the box at the end to confirm everything is correct, could result in your return being rejected and HMRC imposing a penalty.

4. Learn from your mistakes

If you have spent hours tracking down paperwork or worrying how you are going to pay your tax bill, take steps now to avoid the same headaches next year. Get organised! Keep your financial records up to date – you can do it on paper, digitally or using specialist accounting software – like the Boox app.
Put bank statements, bills and important forms in a file so you can locate them easily. You may also find it useful to open a specific savings account and regularly deposit a portion of your income to cover your tax bill.

5. Cut out the stress altogether with Boox

It’s a busy time of year for everyone and it can be tempting to put self-assessment to the back of your mind. If you just don’t have the time, or the thought of it is filling you with dread, our dedicated tax team will help you file on time and avoid making costly errors.

Beat the rush
We’ll be completing hundreds of self-assessments, both on behalf of our clients and on an ad hoc basis, between now and 31st January.
You can get started by clicking on the link below.


Dave Allworthy Written by Dave Allworthy

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