With the deadline for paper Self-Assessment tax return submissions already passed, HMRC is reminding you that if you haven’t filed your tax return, time is running out – and you’ll need to file it online.
Digital submission deadline
HMRC are reminding customers who haven’t yet filed their 2016-2017 tax return that the deadline for electronic submissions is 31st January 2018 – but are urging customers to get it done now and avoid the rush.
HMRC launched electronic Self-Assessment twenty years ago, when agents were sent floppy disks to help complete their SA. They then returned the floppy discs to HMRC – quite a different system to the online Self-Assessment process we know today!
It is predicted that this year, 10 million customers will complete their tax return online.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC director general of customer services, said: “Twenty years ago, filing Self-Assessment returns on a mobile phone would have been unimaginable.
“Today, completing your Self-Assessment via your Personal Tax Account can be done anywhere or at any time; on the bus, in a coffee shop or while watching TV, using your phone, a tablet or a computer.”
She added: “The deadline for returning your Self-Assessment, and paying any tax owed, is 31 January 2018 – do it now and enjoy the festive period.”
Tips for completing your Self-Assessment digitally
Have any paperwork to hand
Keep any necessary paperwork or figures required by your side as you fill in the Self-Assessment form online. Don’t forget that as well as records of your expenses and earnings (from both employment and self-employment), you’ll also need figures for any interest accrued on bank accounts or financial products etc.
Never filed your tax return online before? Give yourself extra time
You will need to create a Government Gateway account if you haven’t already got one. You can do this simply by going to www.gov.uk/selfassessment, but it may take time to receive the passwords you need, so don’t leave it until January 21st!
Always type in the full online address (www.hmrc.gov.uk) to obtain the correct link to file your SA return online securely and free of charge.
HMRC now has online webchats, live webinars, YouTube videos and social media support for customers, which can be accessed at any time and on any device to help them fill in and file their returns. Help is available from the GOV.UK website or from the Self-Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310.
The stress-free solution to Self-Assessment
If you find Self-Assessment stressful, confusing or time-consuming – or all three – you’re not alone! Many people worry about filing their return correctly and on time, and if you file your tax return yourself, you may miss out on potential savings because you’re unaware of what you can claim against tax and the best way in which to do it.
So why not leave it in the hands of the experts and hire an accountant to do your tax returns for you? Accountancy services are cheaper than you might think – take a look at The Accountancy Partnership’s upfront fee scheme as an example – and accountants can save you money.
Not only can they free up your time, leaving you to earn money doing what you’re best at, but they can also run a helpful eye over your earnings, expenses and VAT registration – or lack of it – to ensure you keep as much of your hard-earned money as you’re entitled to.
Many accountants now use cloud accounting packages such as Pandle, too, meaning both you and they have instant, anywhere access to your up-to-the minute financial data. This takes away the worry of updating accounting software and hardware, and means that your data is held securely on many servers in different locations – so a coffee cup disaster near your laptop won’t wipe out all your financial records!
Letting an accountant take the strain could make Christmas feel a whole lot more festive!