Tax & admin 18 January 2019

How to get your paperwork in order and meet the self-assessment deadline

HMRC helpline
HMRC sets a 31 January deadline for self-assessment tax returns
With less than two weeks until the deadline for self-assessment the pressure is on those who are yet to submit their return, writes Pandlefounder Lee Murphy.

If you are yet to complete your tax return, you must do it now, particularly as the tax return deadline is also the tax payment due date, so you may need time to get funds together.

Follow my practical guide on how to get to grips with your tax return.

don’t wait

According to HMRC, some 746, 000 failed to submit their return on time in 2018, each risking escalating fines starting at 100. Yet many could have avoided the fine if they had chosen to submit their return earlier.

As the 31 January deadline moves closer, the system for online returns slows as it deals with a higher volume of users. Leaving it until the last few days to file your return could mean you find yourself taking hours for a 15-minute job because of online crowds.

don’t wait any longer to get started.



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Get your paperwork together

Make sure to have all your paperwork together before sitting down to start the online process as this both reduce the pain and chance of mistakes.

Typical paperwork you will need for the financial year April 2017 to March 2018 to have at hand includes:

  • Details of your earnings from your business: salary, dividends and taxable expenses (which will be on your P60) including details of expenses
  • Any Gift Aid payments
  • Pension payments
  • Details of other sources of income, such as savings, shares, rental income and any royalties.
Visit GOV.UK to begin your submission. The website guides you through the process and is user-friendly.

If it is your first time submitting tax return using the online portal you will need to have contacted HMRC for your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) code to be able to activate your Government Gateway account. The Revenue will only send this by post, so if you don’t have it, contact HMRC immediately here

Have you got your books in order?

HMRC will want to see your profit for the tax year ending April 2018. The majority would have diligent records for 2017/18, but for those who may have been too busy, you are in trouble. Immediately set a couple of days aside now to get your books in order.

Your return will need to be supported with paperwork, including bank statements, sales invoices and receipts for expenses, paying in books, cash books, details of any loans, lease or HP agreements. This will ensure that you are paying the right amount of tax and avoid any nasty surprises further down the line.


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