Were you one of the 248 people to submit your tax return by 8am before opening your presents on Christmas Day?! This is a 15% increase on last year, and figures announced by HMRC and Which? reveal an overall 9% increase on 2018 festive period tax return filers with 12,257 submitted on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day. This clearly proves that filing your tax return should be pretty straightforward, however we know it can be overwhelming so take a look at our pointers below.
Check tax codes
It’s quite easy to pay the wrong amount of tax if you use the incorrect tax code, therefore if your circumstances have changed significantly during the last tax period, it’d be beneficial to check you have the right tax code with HMRC. If you are unsure whether you have the correct code be sure to get in touch with HMRC as soon as possible.
Know what expenses and allowances can be claimed
You are entitled to a certain amount of benefits and allowances, this includes the marriage allowance and even travel costs, so remember to claim those that are applicable to you and your business. Take a look at our recent blog to know what can and can’t be deducted as an expense. Applicants for the marriage allowance can also claim back the previous tax year.
Get organised now
Set up a system to keep your paperwork organised, for example, using tools such as Receipt Bank and Xero on a set day each month to electronically save receipts which automatically get allocated to the correct accounting code. Take a look at this Xero blog to find out more.
No excuses and don’t be late
You’ll be amazed at the weird and wonderful excuses people will try with HRMC to ‘justify’ submitting their tax return late but it’s best to avoid the risk of an automatic £100 fine for being just 1 day late, with additional charges of £10 per day if submitting up to 3 months late (and significantly more if you take longer than this).
Get help if you need it
If you are finding it difficult or overwhelming to complete your tax return, or simply don’t have the time, it might be worth considering speaking to an expert. Accountants like LWA are qualified in what we do, and it’s our goal to keep both our business and personal tax clients one step ahead of the tax man.