Here's what you need to know before you file your tax return


Hey you! Have you submitted your tax return yet? If not, keep reading, because I’m about to share everything you need to know about getting it on to your “done” list.

Prefer to listen? Here’s this week’s podcast episode.

Useful resources and articles

First up, here's my step by step guide to filing your Self Assessment tax return. This guide covers everything from what you need to have to hand when you start your return to what to put in each section.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if I can't pay my tax bill before the deadline?
If you can't afford to pay your tax bill, give the HMRC Business Payment Support Service a call on 0300 200 3835 and they will usually set up a payment plan for you or give you an extension. You will usually be charged interest, but it isn't a lot. Make sure you do this before the deadline/you receive an outstanding payment letter if possible!

What happens if I don't file my tax return by the deadline?
You will get a penalty of £100 if you miss the deadline but get your return in within three months of the deadline. After that, the penalty goes up every day. If you cant file your tax return on time, ring HMRC as soon as possible - you might still get a penalty but if you have what they consider a "reasonable excuse", you can appeal it - more on this here.

What is a payment on account and do I have to pay it?
If your tax and National Insurance comes to over £1,000, you have to pay half the amount by 31st January (in addition to your actual tax bill) and half by 31st July to go towards next year's tax bill. Here's a post which explains it in more detail.

I've been employed during the last tax year, how do I deal with this on my tax return?

When you start filling in your tax return, you will be asked if you've been employed during the tax year. Answer yes to this, and you'll have a section called Employment to complete on your return, where you can declare how much you earned from employment and how much tax you've already paid (you'll need your P60 or P45). More info here.

Now it’s time to kick that tax return’s butt! Remember, you got this.

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