You can send your tax return online or using paper forms but you must first be registered for Self Assessment. If you are preparing your own tax return this October, set aside some time when you will not be distracted - nothing is worse than starting and then being disturbed and then getting some part of the tax return information wrong. However, before you can fill in your return you'll have to ready the following source material for the year to 5 April 2013:
- Specific details of self-employment income - plus, receipts and invoices for items you consider deductible from this income
- Details of any freelance income - this is in addition to your employment income
- Your P60 form - enter the precise figure for your income and not just a rounded estimate
- Other forms such as P11D or P45 Parts 1A, and your 2012–13 and 2013–14 PAYE Coding Notices
- Your bank statements, building society passbooks, dividend counterfoils, investment brokers’ schedules and so on
- Details of any dividends
- Personal pension contributions certificates
Then, look through the tax return form to see what kind of information is required. If you file your return by the filing date, you should normally keep your records until 31 January 2015, or until 31 January 2019 if you are self-employed or in a partnership. You’ll need to keep your records for longer if you file your return late or if we have started a check into your return.
If you send in a paper tax return, it must reach HMRC by the later of midnight on 31 October after the end of the tax year the return covers or three months after the date of the letter telling you to complete a tax return. You should send your return back in the envelope provided or send it to the Tax Office shown on the front page of the form - you won't get a receipt if you send a paper tax return. If you miss the deadline for paper tax returns, you'll need to send your tax return online instead.
For more information on “How to fill in your tax return” please read the HMRC guide. And if you have tried filing your tax in the past, but now think perhaps it wasn't the most efficient way, please get in touch with your Welling tax advisor today. Importantly check the accountant's qualifications and areas of specialism.