Do I need to fill out a tax return?
If you are registered self-employed, working as a sole trader, partner in a business or a company director you are required to fill in a tax return. Any bloggers reading this who take cash payments for sponsored/advertorial content or have monetized their website this means you too. You need to file a tax return even if you are employed and pay taxes through PAYE but earn a self-employed income alongside this (which many start up bloggers do.)
Every year Daddy Moo and I say we will file our tax return in May and every year we get to November and start flapping! Flapping because as parents to 3 small humans we are gearing up to the busiest time of the year in our social and academic calendar. Things get manic! We’ve missed the paper deadline so no choice but to file online. Add in the early dark winter evenings and nobody wants to be messing around with numbers (unless of course you are an accountant then fill your boots!). Sadly we can’t hide from the tax return we just can’t escape from it needs to be done. We are both self employed which has so many pros for our family unit but it also means January can be super stressful. (If you see me in January wine is most appreciated!)
You could outsource or follow some of my tips to making is hassle free.
How to fill your tax return with minimal hassle :
Us freelancers are well known for wearing a lot of hats. We are always doing something different and for me this is what I love the variety in my business. HOWEVER it can me we become busy in so many areas we feel like nothing tangible is actually achieved. Firstly the most important aspect is to be organised. All your receipts and paperwork need to be organised. That’s not a carrier bag full of them (take note Daddy Moo) but actually organised and imputed onto a spreadsheet. This makes it easier for you to track your business growth and anyone who needs access to these accounts – staff, accountant, business partners, taxman should they ask to see them.
— Aldermore Bank (@AldermoreBank) October 31, 2016
Be sure you know the deadlines!
- By paper: Return tax for year 2017-2018 due by 31st October 2018
- Online: Return tax for year 2017-2018 due by 31st January 2019
My top tip would be don’t put off getting your tax return done. The tax year finishes on 5th April yet so many people leave doing their return until January! Set yourself a challenge and get it done earlier each year. Claire, Zest Payroll Solutions
If you miss the paper deadline don’t wait till January to check your login details. Firstly find them, they’ll be in that “safe place” and check you have written them down correctly. It will be so much easier to sort out online login details now than on January 30th.
How to fix mistakes? :
If you find yourself unable to make things add up? Not sure whether you are putting information in the right section as those online forms can be confusing. Or maybe you are having login issues, then pick up the phone and call the HMRC. They are regular people just like you and me and there to help. Apparently the best times to call HMRC are between Tuesday to Thursday, between 8.30am – 10am, 11.30am – 1pm and 2pm-4pm where the lines are less busy. However HMRC phone lines are open from 8am Monday – Friday.
Do you have any top tips to filing your tax return in a timely and stress free manner? I’d love to hear them.
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