4 easy tips for filling out your self assessment form

4 easy tips for filling out your self assessment form

There are only a few weeks left for you to file your tax return, or you’re in danger of incurring some hefty fines. If you earn an income that doesn’t fall under the PAYE system of an employer, you must file your tax return before January 31st. It’s imperative that you get this done, and on time, or you’ll face a £100 fine with an additional £10 fine added for each day you’re late.

Here are four easy tips for filing out your self-assessment form.

1. Sign up for an online account

You have now missed the deadline (October 31st) for filing a paper tax return which means you need to fill in your return online by logging in to HMRC’s website.

If you’ve already done this in previous years, you will already be registered. It can take as many as seven working days before you receive the activation code through the post, and you won’t be able to file your self-assessment form without it, so don’t hang about!

2. Sort out your paperwork

Before attempting to fill in your form, be certain you have any relevant paperwork handy. You will need the following: a P60 form that shows your income and tax paid on it; a P45 should you have left a job in the tax year; a P9D or P11D which details your benefits and expenses; and finally the details of dividends from investments, any interest on bank and building society accounts, and any other form of income you receive.

3. Hire an accountant

The only way to completely avoid the stress and worry of your tax return is to hire an accountant to do it for you. This removes the guess work and enables you to rest easy knowing that it’s been done correctly.

4. Take notes

Make a note of any elements you struggled with this year. Were your papers and receipts disorganised? Did it take you an age to track down all your income streams? See what you can do to streamline the process next year. If you spent hours or even days combing through bank statements separating personal and business expenditure, it’s time to get a separate business account! If you had to look up individual purchases to see what they were for and whether they were tax deductible, consider investing in some simple bookkeeping software, or an actual bookkeeper. As you head into the next year, be sure you do everything you can to make the process easier a year from now!

At SQK, we specialise in cloud accountancy, giving you access to your accounts in real time and making the dreaded tax return so much simpler. To find out more, get in touch today.

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