Mistakes to avoid with your tax return

Mistakes to avoid with your tax return

Dec 11, 2018

The deadline for online self-assessment tax returns is January 31st so it’s worth getting your records in order now.  There are penalties for missing the deadline and for failing to take sufficient care when completing it, so don’t leave it until the last minute.

“The self-assessment tax return is a straight-forward process if you’ve kept accurate, up-to-date records throughout the year.  The problem is that life is very busy so it’s not unusual for even the most diligent person to find they haven’t got all the information they need to hand.  Being prepared in advance is key – don’t leave it until the last minute!”   

Paul Flannery, Head of Operations.



Make life easier for yourself by avoiding thse common mistakes which contractors make when it comes to the self-assessment tax return.

1. Disorganised documentation

It makes sense to keep all your financial information to hand so you can find everything you need, making it quicker and easier to prepare your self-assessment tax return.

Use a file or series of files to keep copies of your National Insurance number and your Unique Taxpayer Reference to hand as you’ll need these when completing your tax return.

Your files should also have accurate copies of the invoices you have sent and the expenses you have incurred throughout the year as well as bank statements and records of any additional income you will need to declare (pension income, interest and dividends from savings and investments, property income etc).

2.  Using incorrect figures

Incorrect figures could mean you pay too much or too little tax, and any deliberate misinformation could lead to fines and even prosecution.

Throughout the year keep your financial records in order so that you have a clear picture of income and expenditure, and the paperwork to support your records.  Get into the habit of reviewing your finances to make sure everything is in order at the end of each month.  It’s not going to be easy to recover lost records after several months have elapsed.

3.  Missing the deadline

Contractors who have previously filed a self-assessment tax return will be able to do so as normal but if this is your first year submitting a tax return you will need to register to do so.  Make sure you do this in plenty of time.

Each self-assessment tax return deadline relates to income you have received in the previous tax year.  So your self-assessment tax return due on 31st January 2019 will relate to your income in the 2017/18 tax year.

Missing the deadline means you incur penalties – the longer the delay, the higher the penalties.

Need help?

Our team of expert contractor accountants are here to help so please do get in touch if you would like us to prepare and submit your self-assessment tax return on your behalf.

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