A Helpful Guideline To Assist You With Your Self Assessment Tax Return Forms

June 23, 2012 by  Filed under: Taxes 

That time arrives year after year, and irrespective of the number of instances you perhaps have filled out your self assessment tax return before, it is still difficult work and hated by many. There are numerous actions involved in the process of processing your tax return. Hopefully, by following the recommendations listed below you will be able to accomplish this task a whole lot easier.

Let’s get started with the basics and go over what self assessment tax return is. Self assessment is the system produced by the HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) which calculates and pays tax on your earnings. You only need to complete one if you do not pay tax on your earnings through PAYE. Self assessment tax return forms are sent every April, covering the previous 12 months.

The next step would be to look at who it applies to. If perhaps you just have one job, and no earnings from anywhere else, you’ll probably never have to fill out one of these forms. HMRC will typically send you a tax return form automatically if you’re required to complete one. However, if you realise you do need one and they haven’t realised, it’s your liability to demand it. There are numerous reasons self assessment could apply to you and they are:

  • You’re self employed
  • You’re a minister of religion
  • You have income from letting a property or land you own
  • You’re a company director
  • You have taxable foreign income, even if you are claiming that you are not normally resident in the UK
  • You receive other untaxed income, or significant capital gains, and the tax due on it cannot be collected through a PAYE tax code
  • You’re a member of Lloyd’s of London insurance and reinsurance market
  • You receive annual income from a trust or settlement, or any income from the estate of a deceased person, and further tax is due on that income

Any of these tips above are explanations why you could be classed as requiring to submit a tax return.

If, after pursuing the recommendations above, you are required to fill out a self assessment tax return form, the methods below are a great way to start the task. First of all, you must collect all of the papers you will need before you commence. Getting three-quarters of the way through the form merely to discover that you’ve misplaced a crucial bit of data is guaranteed to test out your patience. The key documents you must have prepared before starting off the form are:

  • Your P60
  • Details of any pay and taxable expenses and benefits received from your employer
  • Bank and building society statements
  • Cheque and paying-in book stubs
  • Any dividend vouchers you have
  • Your self-employment accounts
  • Documentation about any capital gains that have been realised
  • Information on other income including investments, savings, pensions, property or benefits you receive
  • Paperwork on anything you can claim for like self-employed expenses or charitable donations

You don’t typically need to send any documents with your Self Assessment form. If HMRC do inquire to see any documents, be sure you maintain a photocopy. You should then be prepared to fill in those all-important forms.

Now we should look at what parts you actually need to fill in on the form. HMRC will normally send the forms that are specific to you. You’ll also get the HMRC guide to filling in your tax return which runs through the questions detail by detail. The additional pages you will be required to complete will depend upon your circumstances. For instance, self-employed status, capital gains and rental income all involve different additional forms to be completed, so fill in those that cover you and ignore the rest. You can only be penalised if your return is incorrect through carelessness or you’re deliberately misstating the statistics. You can be arrested if you seek to cheat the tax system, which is why it is vital you take great concern when submitting the form.

Once finished you are able to send the form by post or online. If you wish to post your forms by mail, bear in mind that the deadline is 31 October, so you must enable plenty of time. On the other hand, if you choose to file online, you get yourself an additional three months, with a 31 January deadline. When you’ve done this, send it off and wait for it to be processed to discover if you owe money or are to be paid money. Now it is possible to sit back, relax, and enjoy a cuppa understanding your tax return is finished and out of the way for this year.

Zora Ahmed is the Search Engine Optimisation specialist for self assessment tax return specialist accountants, Bucknell Whitehouse. Bucknell Whitehouse offer a full range of accountancy services and offer business support to small and medium sized businesses.

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