The news is full of details of the number of families which receive child benefit but fall within the higher earning bracket and have still not registered for self-assessment. If this is you, you need to act now.
Changes came into force in January this year which dictated that households with someone earning more than £50,000 will lose a proportion of the benefit and households where the highest earner has a salary of £60,000 will lose the benefit entirely. Charges for the benefit can be paid in a lump sum or through your tax code.
The deadline to register for self-assessment was 5 October but the HMRC has recommended that even if you have missed the deadline you should still register for self-assessment as soon as possible to minimise any penalties. Fines for failing to register will be assessed on a case by case basis.
At this stage it will be difficult to meet the deadline for paper tax returns on October 31 and therefore parents should prepare to file a tax return ahead of the January 31 deadline for online returns.
HMRC has said that as long as parents register and file their return by January 31 2014, any penalty for missing the deadline will be disregarded.
Once you have completed the self-assessment registration, HMRC will send you a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and a 'Notice to File' by post. When you receive your UTR code you will be able to complete and send a self-assessment form to HMRC.
If you were already registered to complete a self-assessment tax return, all you will need to do is include the amount of child benefit when you complete the form.
There is also the option to opt out of receiving child benefit if you do not want to complete a tax return.
See the HRMC website for full details -http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/childbenefitcharge/declaringchildbenefit.htm
If you have any uncertainties around your personal tax return, contact a qualified accountant for advice.