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How to file your Self-Assessment tax return without mistakes

It’s that time of the year most people hate – the Self-Assessment tax return deadline.

But Oracle is here to help you avoid turning a stressful time into something much worse. Read on to see the common mistakes people make on their Self-Assessment tax returns.

Getting the basics wrong

Sometimes you can be so caught up in entering the big stuff correctly – your earnings and costs, for example – that you completely forget the small, simple things such as your signature or a date if it’s a paper tax return, or entering you NI number or Unique Tax Reference number (UTR) incorrectly.

Don’t miss the deadline or you will be fined by HMRC

The deadline for submitting a paper tax return by post is October 31st or if you are submitting your tax return online, the deadline is January 31st.

The deadline to pay any tax owed is January 31st whether you file your Self-Assessment online or by post.

Failing to check the numbers

HMRC are very strict about you entering the correct information, especially when it comes to the numbers and how much tax you owe. Make sure you check all of your figures and calculations – HMRC will likely fine you if they find out that you are paying less tax than you really owe because you got the calculations wrong.

Check your expenses with an accountant

Claiming expenses means you pay less tax, so HMRC are very strict about what can and cannot be claimed as expenses. What makes is even more difficult to understand is that it also depends on which industry your business is in.

It is advised that you find an accountant to help you with claiming expenses to ensure you do not claim for the wrong things.

Make sure you include every source of income

There are many potential sources of income you could be receiving, and it is important that you declare every single source on your Self-Assessment tax return, or risk being fined or prosecuted by HMRC. Sources of income can include benefits, foreign income, employment, dividends, etc.

HMRC might ask you to pay some of next year’s tax bill too

If you are filing your first Self-Assessment tax return, payments on account can catch you out, giving you a bigger tax bill than you were expecting.

Payment on account is when HMRC asks you to pay part of next year’s tax bill upfront.

When you are figuring out how much money to leave aside to pay your tax, make sure you add 50% to that number.

Get an accountant

The best way to make filing a Self-Assessment tax return as easy as possible is by hiring a great accountant. They will do most of the work for you, as well as making sure your tax return is filed without any mistakes.