Self-assessment deadline looms: Get help now

Self-assessment deadline looms: Get help now

14 December 2017

The deadline for submitting your online self-assessment tax return is just over six weeks away and accountants are being booked up quickly as time runs out.

Remember that you should have submitted your tax return and paid any taxes you owe by Midnight on 31 January.

With its large team of accountants, Umbrella.co.uk is well placed to help clients complete their self-assessment tax returns on time. But spaces are filling up quickly and opportunities to get help are running out.

If you miss the deadline by up to three months then you’ll get an automatic penalty of £100. You could have to pay more if it is later than three months or if you pay the tax bill late.

Tips for a stress-free self-assessment season

In the words of HMRC, your self-assessment doesn’t have to be taxing.

Follow these quick tips and get it all out the way before Christmas. You’ll thank yourself later if you do.

1.Get help

Getting help from a qualified accountant might feel like cheating, but it really is the best way to make the self-assessment season a breeze.

An accountant may be able to save you money as well, because they can often spot expenses that you might not have thought about claiming for. Most accountants offer low-cost self-assessment sessions to get everything sorted in one go. But remember that these sessions will be booking up fast.

2.Gather your paperwork

Get information about all your income, including: a P60 form from your employer showing how much tax you’ve paid (or a P45 if you left in the last tax year), information about any other types of income, bank statements showing interest payments (excluding ISAs), and information about any dividend or benefit payments.

You should also have information about your expenses to hand.

Don’t call HMRC

Stress-free and HMRC don’t go in the same sentence very often. Research shows that HMRC struggle to answer all the calls coming in at the best of times. Last week, at a critical time for many contractors and small business owners, the phone lines died completely.

To avoid the phone lines, you can usually find the answer you’re looking for on HMRC’s website. If you are still struggling, try checking business forums or speak to an accountant to save your sanity.

3.Switch to cloud bookkeeping 

It might be a little late for this year’s tax return, but if you are still using spreadsheets or paper to keep your incomings and outgoings in check – then cloud-based bookkeeping platforms could save you a lot of time and hassle next year.

Cloud-based bookkeeping software helps you stay on top of all your incomings and outgoings. You can even link it up to your bank account to monitor expenditure and use the system to store photographs of receipts for further reference.

When it comes to filing your self-assessment, some software links up with HMRC’s self-assessment portal and enables you to file a tax return with just a few clicks.  To learn about cloud-based bookkeeping systems like FreeAgent and Xero, visit our cloud accountancy website.

If you need some extra help submitting a tax return, speak to a member of the Umbrella Accountants team today. Call: 0800 121 6513.