Completing and submitting your Self Assessment Tax Return (SATR) can seem like a daunting task, but having it prepared well in advance of the 31st January deadline will make your life so much easier. If you miss the deadline you will be subject to a penalty, and this sum will only increase the longer you delay.

We strongly recommend that you do not leave your submission until the 30th or the 31st as there will likely be a large influx of submissions which will put a lot of strain on HMRC’s online systems. Consequently, to avoid any delays or stress, submit your SATR in advance!

 

What are common mistakes made in tax returns?

If you do opt to complete your tax return yourself, there are some key mistakes to keep an eye out for, to ensure your submission is accepted with no delay or hassle. It’s important to note that errors can potentially lead to financial penalties or even spark further scrutiny from HMRC of your tax affairs.

 

1. Getting your National Insurance number and Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) wrong

These might seem like a simple detail but it’s often the easiest parts that trip you up. Just remember to double-check.

Your National Insurance number (NI) and Unique Taxpayer Reference are unique to you. Your NI is made up of nine letters and numbers and ensures your National Insurance contributions (NICs) and taxes are recorded against your name only. While your UTR is a ten-digit reference number that will be on any correspondence you receive from HMRC.

 

2. Not giving details in full

HRMC wants a complete and detailed overview of the year and so skipping on some details will only serve to cause you problems in the future. For example, failure to disclose all income and Capital Gains relevant to a tax year is not only a major error but in fact, could lead to penalties. Even if it has been taxed at source, it must be included in your Self Assessment Tax Return. The deliberate omission of a source of income could lead to a prosecution.

     So what are the usual income and Capital Gains you need to declare?
  • Income from employment
  • Benefits including maternity/paternity pay, statutory sick pay, job seekers allowance
  • Pension income
  • Interest, dividends from savings, bank accounts, building societies investments or Trusts etc.
  • Property income
  • Foreign income including evidence of tax already paid abroad
  • Capital gains
  • Employee share schemes
  • Dividends
    Although there are some items that can be excluded, including:
  • Interest, dividends or bonuses from tax-exempt investments (for example, ISAs and National Savings & Investments Savings Certificates).
  • Interest and terminal bonuses from Save As You Earn schemes.
  • Premium Bond, National Lottery and gambling prize winnings.
  • Interest awarded by a UK court as part of an award of damages for personal injury or death.

 

3. Getting the numbers wrong

It might seem obvious, but making sure your calculations and figures provided are all correct is crucial. No estimations or guesses will be accepted. It must be exact figures. So we’d advise you re-check your calculations just to be sure it’s all wholly accurate.

 

4. Not keeping records

Improper record keeping could lead to financial penalties. If HMRC were to raise any enquiry into your tax affairs but you do not have the relevant documentation to support your submissions then you could find yourself issued with a penalty. So make sure to keep clear and complete records of all tax affairs.

The most common records you will need in order to complete your SATR (if they are relevant to you) include:

  • P60, P45 and P11D
  • Expense records
  • Benefits including maternity/paternity pay, statutory sick pay, job seekers allowance
  • Pension records
  • Bank statements
  • Property income
  • Foreign income including evidence of tax already paid abroad
  • Capital gains
  • Employee share schemes
  • Student loan payments

 

5. Realising you’ve made a mistake but doing nothing about it

If you do realise you’ve made a mistake after you’ve submitted your Self Assessment Tax Return, don’t just assume it’s too late to fix. Move fast and you can fix the mistake before any trouble is caused. In general, you’ll have 12 months after the filing deadline to correct any mistakes.

 

In future, if you don’t want the hassle of completing your Self Assessment Tax Return and want to guarantee that it is correct and submitted on time, K&B Accountancy Group can do it for you. Our comprehensive monthly fixed packages; Essential, Essential IR35, Essential Plus and Premier all include the completion of your Self Assessment tax return by one of our expert contractor accountants, we can make your January a whole lot easier by doing all the work for you. To learn more about each of our packages, click here.