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Individual Self-Assessment Tax Returns

By admin
13 Feb 2020
Accounts & Compliance

Once April 6th rolls around, tax advisers, accountants and bookkeepers begin to remind clients about their self-assessment tax returns (SATRs). This is in the hopes that the following January will finally be the year where the office is not stressed out of their skulls trying to submit all returns on time. Many of those who need to complete returns are not always aware of any other deadlines other than the 31st January.  

For those who leave things to the last minute, this can become incredibly stressful. It’s the deadline that is completely forgotten in the Christmas festivities and then appears with a stomach knot of dread on New Year’s Day. Even more so, when you realise that you have to find the money to pay your tax liability, and a good year in business – if you haven’t prepared – could result in a nasty sting come January time. 

This year, why don’t you forgo the dread and give yourself some time to plan for your liability and if needed set up a payment plan with HMRC.  Then you can go into the winter months, knowing you’ll enjoy the new year without worrying about any looming deadlines. Dependant on what you need to include in your return, please find the earliest dates you can provide your information to your accountant or tax adviser below. 

When do I need to register by? 

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning. When do you need to register and how to go about it? When considering registering for self-assessment, you need to consider when you started trading as self-employed or receiving rental income. The deadline for registration will be by the 5th October following the first tax year in which you received income. So, if you were to start renting out a property on May 14th, 2019, you will not have to register for self-assessment until 5th October 2020, for your first return to be filed by 31st January 2021. 

When will I receive my information to pass on to my accountants? 

Now, here are several dates to bear in mind with respect to collating your information. For those who are employed, you will need your P60 and P11d. Your employer must provide you with your P60 by May 31st at the latest following the end of the tax year. Any longer than that and technically, they are breaking the law. 

If, in addition, you also receive benefits from your employment (i.e. private medical insurance, or a car allowance) then you will need to provide your accountant or tax adviser with a P11d. You should receive this by 6th July following the end of the previous tax year.  

For bank interest, usually your bank will send you an interest certificate following the end of the tax year. If they do not, you can contact them to request it, as it should be available from the 6th April and if not, you can always look through you statements and take the amount from there. 

With mortgage interest statements, if you have a rental property in which you pay mortgage interest on (for the time being) you can include this as an expense. Most mortgage providers will send out your mortgage statement annually around the date that the mortgage began. 

Self-Assessment Tax Return Filing Deadlines 

Those who submit self-assessment tax returns electronically are aware that they must be submitted on or before 31st January following the end of the tax year. Many forget that this is also the date in which your tax year liability is expected to be settled. 

For those who file paper returns, the deadline for the return to reach HMRC is 31st October. 

The 31st is also the deadline for the first payment on account for the upcoming tax year, this coupled with the balancing payment for the year before can amount to a rather expensive end of the month.  

If you have found Christmas pricey and realised in January that you may not have the funds to pay your tax liability, you will need to contact HMRC in order to arrange a time to pay arrangement (TTP). It is always best to get this done before the deadline, as once the deadline’s passed it is more then likely you are going to be waiting in a queue of other individuals. While on the topic of payments on account, it would be prudent to remember that the second payment on account is due by 31st July. 

If the majority of your income is taxed via PAYE, then you may be eligible to have your self-assessment tax returns liability coded. Those who are eligible for this and wish to make use of the coding must submit before 30th December.  

Self-Assessment Tax Returns: Amendments and Enquiries 

Sometimes mistakes happen. Either an invoice that was forgotten about is unearthed or a number is put into the wrong box; this is not the end of the world. However it does need to be corrected as soon as it is noticed. The deadline to amend is 18 months following the end of the tax year. For example, to amend your 2017/18 self-assessment tax returns you will have until 31st January 2020. If you need to amend any returns that are out of time to be amended, then you will need to write into HMRC stating the error, revised calculations and reasoning for error. 

HMRC can also open checks or enquiries into your return. When the return is submitted before 31st January, they have a year to open an enquiry or check. However, if the return is filed after the deadline then they have up to 15 months to open a check into your return.   

For further information on what to do if you need to amend or what to do if an enquiry is opened in respect of your return, please visit our amendments and enquires article in which we discuss this further.  

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