It’s not often you hear someone say “Fantastic, it’s time to fill out my tax return!” but over the last months whilst studying for my Self-Assessment Tax Diploma with ICB, I have been totally fascinated with all the equations and formulas needed to manually work out the total tax due (or owed) and totally got a buzz when the answers I came up with were the same as the examples shown. Having now passed the Diploma with flying colours I can't wait to do my own!
Most people know that the latest tax deadline ie the date by which you need to file your tax return and pay what tax is due (if any) …. is midnight on the 31 January but of course the relevant word here is ‘deadline’ – you can usually file your tax return much earlier than that ie straight after the end of the tax year (the last tax year started on 6 April 2017 and ended on 5 April 2018) ... a much better idea than waiting till the very last minute!
There is often confusion over deadlines – one you might not know is that you need to be registered for self-assessment by 5 October (prior to the January deadline) if you’re self-employed or a sole trader or registering a partner or partnership.
Don’t be caught out by the well-known 31 January date either – this is only for online tax returns – if you are using the old-fashioned paper return, you will need to have done this a whole lot earlier ie Midnight 31 October!
Also a lesser known fact is that if you would like HMRC to automatically collect tax you owe via your wages and pension, you need to have filed your return by 30 December – that is if you owe less than £3,000 on your tax bill and you already pay tax through PAYE otherwise you don’t have this option!
Unless your last self-assessment bill was less than £1000 or you’ve already paid more than 80% of all the tax you owe, another deadline is the 31 July when you will have to make a second payment on account (half your previous year’s tax bill). Did I mention the first payment on account would also be due on 31 January along with the balancing payment for the previous year?
Oh and two more dates… if you have a partnership and the accounting date is between 1 February and 5 April and one of your partners is a limited company, the deadline for online returns is 12 months from the accounting date and for paper returns is 9 months from the accounting date…
If you have a love for dates and figures, this will all be grist to the mill.. if you would rather not have to worry about all this, then I’m very pleased to say that Ripon Bookkeeping is now fully qualified to complete your self-assessment tax returns on your behalf – and I promise to not get too excited when I have done the calculations to work out exactly how much you owe – it’s nothing personal!