Self Assessment / Tax Return

Tax return or in other words self assessment is the buzz word during the month of Janaury as everybody is rushing to file their respective documents with HMRC to avoid any unnecessary penalties. For a first time user filing the tax return could be a complicated task. Getting it wrong leads to harsh consequences. The following paragraphs explain the basics behind a tax return and the must know facts.

Self Assessment involves completing an online or paper tax return. Your duty as the taxpayer is to inform HMRC about your income and capital gains (profits on the sale of certain assets) on the tax return, or claim tax allowances or reliefs.

Continuous changes to tax legislation means that not only are the returns becoming even more difficult to understand but also that the taxpayers risk incurring more penalties through failing to complete their returns on time or correctly

Who needs to complete a Self Assessment tax return?

Not everyone needs to complete a tax return. If your tax affairs are straightforward you may already pay all of the tax due on your earnings or pensions through your PAYE (Pay As You Earn) tax code through your employer.

But you may need to complete a tax return if you have more complicated tax affairs, even if you already pay tax through PAYE. There are also certain circumstances in which you will always need to complete a tax return – for example if you’re self-employed, a company director, a trustee or if you have foreign income.

How to get a Self Assessment tax return

First of all what you need to do is to register for Self Assessment before you can get a tax return. HMRC will use the information you provide to set up the right records for you and will send you a Unique Taxpayer Reference. Each year you will receive a letter usually between April and September telling you to complete a tax return. You can send your tax return online or by paper but there are lots of benefits for sending it online.

If you have registered for Self Assessment and received your Unique Taxpayer Reference but haven’t received a letter called the ‘Notice to complete a tax return or a paper tax return by September, you should get in touch with your Tax Office.

Tax return deadlines and penalties

If you send in a paper tax return, it must reach HMRC by midnight on 31 October. If you send in your tax return online it must reach HMRC by midnight on 31 January.

As experienced accountants let us help you in the preparation of your self assessment tax return and file it with the HMRC. As accountants serving the areas of Chiswick, East Sheen, Knightsbridge and Kensington we possess extensive experience in preparing and filing self assessment tax returns over the past few years and dealing with HMRC.

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