Yes, I’m Unstoppable but tax is my kryptonite – fortunately I’ve got a great accountant who will automatically process my self-assessment information and submit it to me for approval and signing, well before the deadline date.
Yes, I could do it myself and no, I’m not running a multi-million pound business (yet), but I take it just as seriously because it is serious. Remember the film, ‘Meet Joe Black’ with the line, “the only guarantee in this world are death and taxes”? Well it’s true.
HMRC (or whatever tax authority is applicable for your country) will find you, wherever you are.
Now that mine is done and I know what I have to pay (would prefer to buy shoes of course), I thought I’d do a gentle reminder for those of you who haven’t yet thought about it – or if you forgot and are likely to spend the next 13 days panicking because you can’t find the relevant information.
Here are some key things to remember about self-assessment but I’m not the authority on such matters (hence why I use an expert). This is a brief guide so it is up to you to make sure you have all the correct information and make your submissions on time, even if you use an agent.
1. Don’t leave it too late.
If you’ve not started it, START NOW. 31st January is the deadline each year – that hasn’t changed. Get your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) if you’ve not done one before, otherwise you can’t complete it. The penalty is late fines, which gather interest, so don’t delay.
2. Declare Everything.
Your tax authority need a full picture of your situation to be able to properly and accurately assess how much tax you need to or need not pay. If you miss any vital information, you could get slapped with an unexpected tax bill. I forgot to tell my accountant something one year (my mistake) and boy did I pay for it (disappointed face).
3. Claim your expenses.
There are specific things you can claim for, so make sure you are aware of what these are ie travel and other things required to do your job such as equipment or clothing. If you’ve spent it, make sure you claim it.
If you are paid by someone through their PAYE process, then you need to include this, not just the employer’s name etc but you must also state how much you earned before tax and the amount of tax deducted also.
5. Correct any mistakes.
Mistakes happen and in my experience, the tax authority do have real people answering the phones who will help you work things through to the preferred outcome which is to submit a correct tax return. Correct any mistakes, which come to light after submission by making contact immediately.
The Unstoppable Woman