Five Tips for Completing Your Self-Assessment Tax Return

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If you are required to complete a self-assessment tax return you don’t have long left this year to return it and pay any tax you owe. It is a job that not many people look forward to or enjoy doing, but it has to be done. Here are five tips to help you complete your self-assessment tax return.

  1. Know the Dates

The deadline for submitting your self-assessment tax return is 31 October. If you miss the deadline you will incur penalties, so make sure you get it in on time.

You will have to pay any tax you owe by the same date. This means any tax due for 2015 and any preliminary tax for 2016 that you are liable for.

  1. Don’t Leave it Until the Last Minute

Completing a self-assessment tax return takes time. You can miss the deadline if you leave it too late to get started, so don’t wait until the last minute.

Leaving it until the last minute also means you will rush, and rushing often results in mistakes. This can be costly when it comes to tax. If you haven’t started working on your tax return, you should do so now.

  1. Gather Your Documentation

Start gathering all your revenue and expenditure documentation. This includes things like invoices, bank statements, and receipts. This will help ensure the figures you put in your tax return are accurate. It is also important for staying compliant with the Revenue. It requires you to keep your records for six years as it can audit your tax return at any time during that period.

  1. Consult an Accountant

An accountant can help you complete your self-assessment tax return in a number of ways. Firstly, an accountant can take the stress and hassle of completing the return away from you. This is particularly beneficial if you don’t have time to do it yourself.

In addition, an accountant will ensure your return is completed properly. They will also make sure you are paying the right amount of tax, and could even save you money.

  1. Start Planning Your Finances Now

It is recommended that you put money aside from your income every month to cover your tax bill when it comes due at the end of October. This is not always possible, however. As a result, not everyone has the funds available to pay their tax bill by 31 October. If this applies to you it is important to start planning now. Some of the things you may have to consider include cutting your expenses, getting finance, or contacting the Revenue to explain you are having difficulties.

None of these situations is ideal, though, and they can often be difficult to get out of. It is therefore important that you speak to an accountant to help plan your tax.

Finally, you should also start thinking about next year’s return. For example, you could improve your record keeping so there is less work to do when it comes time for filling out the form. You could also improve your system for filing documents, and you could start putting money aside.

For more help and advice with your self-assessment tax return, or anything else related to tax, you should contact a member of the Gilroy Gannon team today.

Posted in Tips.