Being Prepared for your Self-Assessment Tax Return

Whether you are required to submit a self-assessment every year, you are about to submit for the first time, or you only need to submit once due to changes to your personal life such as selling a second home, the process of completing and filing your self-assessment will run far more smoothly if you ensure you are prepared.

Self-Assessment Tax Return Registration

HMRC now requires self-assessment tax returns to be completed online. To do this, you will need to register and receive login details through the post, which can take up to 7 working days. You should register for self-assessment as soon as you become eligible. This will be when you start trading as a self-employed person, start renting a property or sell an asset, for example. If you register straight away, you will be able to log in to complete your tax return without any delays.

Keep accurate and regular records

The deadline for submitting the self-assessment tax return is 31st January following the 5th April tax year-end. For example, returns for the period 6th April 2020 to 5th April 2021 must be filed by 31st January 2022. Any accountant will tell you the horror of receiving a carrier bag of receipts in the middle of January, from which an entire year’s records need to be constructed and then a submission filed. It has happened to every accountant at some point in their career, please do them, and yourself a favour by not being this client! Even if you decide to complete your tax return yourself, without instructing an accountant, you will find it much easier if you have your records up to date before embarking on completing the return. Set aside sometime each month for recording transactions, it is easier to do throughout the year as circumstances are fresh in your mind. You can also keep track of any credit transactions you may have had during the year.

Get advice

Tax rules are complex and change quite often, so to make sure you are claiming appropriate expenses and declaring the right income, it is worth instructing an accountant to prepare your self-assessment for you. You can keep fees down by doing your own record keeping. Your accountant may recommend a software package that will make it easier for you to record transactions correctly and is likely to be the same software your accountant uses. This will enable you to link up to them and share your information easily.

If you are due to file a self-assessment and think you might need some help, please contact Neon Accounting. We offer a range of services and would be happy to assist.