How to prepare for the tax return deadline

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Date: 17 December 2019

A small business owner fills in her Self Assessment tax return, using a calculator to work out key figures.

Dreading January? If you’re a self-employed sole trader, we’re going to guess that’s a yes - unless you’ve managed to file your Self Assessment tax return already!

Getting this monumental task completed early is no mean feat. But it is possible to get through the tax season without experiencing a stressful sprint to 31 January.

Here, Mike Parkes from GoSimpleTax explains how.

Gather all your information

Don’t delay - get the necessary financial records together now. Make a checklist to ensure you have everything you need ahead of time, avoiding unnecessary delays.

Documents and data you may need include:

  • Your National Insurance number.
  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference number or UTR.
  • Your business/partnership name, address and company number.
  • Your P45.
  • Your P60.
  • Your P11D.
  • Figures for:
    • the business’s annual income and expenditure;
    • income earned from other employment;
    • any rent you have received;
    • interest paid on loans, credit cards or other credit;
    • income from overseas;
    • income received from a partnership;
    • any dividends received;
    • benefits received either from the state or an employer;
    • capital gains received;
    • Gift Aid received;
    • pension contributions;
    • tax payments you have already made this year (payments on account).

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Get your accountant registered

If you have an accountant or bookkeeper filing your return, ask them to sign and register the 64-8 form earlier rather than later. This will make them officially recognised as your agent by HMRC, and able to act on your behalf.

Know what you need to declare

The above is a list of the standard facts and figures required, but you may require extra information. Perhaps you have a student loan. Maybe you (or your partner) are claiming Child Benefit. If there’s the slightest possibility your circumstances will affect how much tax you need to pay, you should be on top of things.

Be aware of possible penalties

Submitting the Self Assessment late can incur penalties, so be aware of these. Leave yourself enough time for completion, to ensure you avoid being slapped with a fine.

Check for mistakes

It’s possible that, when you have gathered your information together, you’ve inadvertently missed something out or made an error. So, once you’ve collated everything, look it all over carefully. You want to guarantee that nothing doesn’t quite add up or has been excluded.

Minimise errors with tax return software

The chances of any mistakes can be reduced by using Self Assessment tax return software. It will take all the administrative work off your hands, ensuring the numbers are correct.

With MTD also on the horizon, begin converting to software such as GoSimpleTax, and utilise their income tax calculator and submission tool for your business. Tools like this give you full visibility of your tax liability in real time, whilst reviewing your pension contributions and investment opportunities.

Sponsored post. Copyright © 2019 GoSimpleTax offers tax return software that can help you manage your self-assessment.

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