Self assessment can be a minefield but a little bit of preparation can take away the stress. Here are our top tips:
-Tell HMRC that you are self-employed, remember ignorance is not an excuse. If you are not sure if you should register for self-assessment give HMRC a call for advice. It can also take time for codes to be sent, make sure you can log in and actually submit. Leaving it until the last minute can cause a lot of unnecessary stress.
- Stay on top of your paperwork. Why wait until the deadline is days away, doing a little bit of your bookkeeping each week ensures that it's less stressful to submit on time. Not only will you feel better that it's done, you won't be haunted by the over flowing box of paperwork in the corner!
- Know your allowable expenses. This can reduce the amount of tax you pay.
- Not only will you need details of income and expenses from your business but you will also need your P60, P45, P11D, if you have also been employed. You will also need dividend vouchers and information form your pension provider if you make private pension contributions.
- Submit early - as soon as it's the new tax year you can submit, you don't have to wait until 31st January is close. By submitting early you have time to manage your payments - or celebrate that you are due a refund. You can even set up a monthly payment to HMRC to ensure you don't have to pay a big lump sum in one hit.
- Talk to HMRC, if you aren't going to make the deadline give them a ring and explain why.
- Get help, if you're not sure about filing for self-assessment or you are stretched for time, use a professional. Tidal Bookkeeping Cornwall can prepare and submit your tax return for you.
The information featured in this article is for guidance only, no liability is accepted for the opinions it contains.