Tax Return

Completing the Tax Return Form

Completing your tax return can be both frustrating and time-consuming, but the entire process can easily be facilitated by understanding concepts and procedures. You can use your annual return on paper or online – use the HMRC software or one of the much easy-to-use commercial software on the market. We recommend you to do it online if it is faster, prevents delays and there is no chance of it getting lost in the post.

The Deadline for Sending Your Tax Return Back

Deadlines vary depending on how you send your return back – these are the filing dates. The deadline for a paper tax return is 31 October following the end of the tax year, and this is the date HMRC should receive your annual return. If you are finishing this online, HMRC should receive your tax return by 31 January following the end of the tax year.

It is important that you meet these deadlines if it does not automatically run a late filing penalty of £100. Another £100 penalty will be incurred if this is still outstanding after six months.

Paper Tax Return

HMRC guarantees you to calculate your tax and inform you of the results before the payment deadline of 31 January following the end of the tax year. If you send your return after the filing date, HMRC can’t guarantee that you calculate your tax and tell you that the result in time for any 31 January payment.

If you even calculate your tax yourself or if your document is late, you can ask the HMRC for its pages and notes to help you work out your tax bill. No need to send the supplementary pages HMRC sends you as part of your tax return.

Online Tax Return

The HMRC online service is easy to use and saves time compared to the paper version. To use the online service, you have to register first by visiting the HMRC website and following the registration process. HMRC will then send you a Personal Identification Number and may take about 7 days.

So, we strongly recommend that you do not leave registering for the online service until 31 January. If you do then your return will be late and you will incur the late filing penalty- therefore does it well in advance? Once you have completed the online return you will receive an acknowledgment of receipt.

Keeping Records

In order to complete and correct tax return, you have to keep all records according to law. If your annual return is not complete and you are found by HMRC to owe tax, you may be essential to pay interest and a penalty. So keep all records and get it right in the first place.

Using Provisional and Estimated Figures

If you simply want to wait for the information which you need for your annual return, you can use provisional figures to evade delaying filing your tax return. If you use the provisional figures, remember to draw attention to this in the ‘Any other information’ box on the paper return or in the white space on the online return. Do not forget to replace your provision figures with the final ones you know them.

Sometimes you may have to estimate an amount, as the private proportion of motoring expenses or the cost of using part of your home for business use. You do not need to replace this figure and you do not have to draw attention to this kind of estimate. You will find available guidance about this on the tax return.