4 top tips for completing your tax self-assessment return

Melanie Richardson


If you are self-employed, either as a sole trader or the owner of a business, then getting your tax return completed on time is essential. Fines can start piling up if you are even one day late with it, so it really is a hugely important job to get done. If you have decided to fill in your self-assessment, then here are a few tips that should help:

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1. Don't leave it too late

Although this sounds like pure common sense, it is worth noting anyway. Many people make the mistake of leaving completing their return until the last minute, which is not wise. It will not only put undue pressure on you to get it done by the deadline, it will also risk you not getting it done on time if you are delayed. It is much better to start looking at it early and avoid all these potential issues.

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2. Get all your records to hand

If you have been thinking ahead, you will already have all your relevant monthly paperwork and figures to hand. This could be physically in a file, or electronically on your computer. Make sure you have all the relevant figures accessible, so that when you start completing your return, you do not have to waste time trying to find it all. Get organised beforehand and it will make the process much easier.

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3. Find out about allowable expenses

One key area of your self-assessment return is allowable expenses. This can cover a whole range of things, such as phone costs, internet costs and any other legal business expenses. It can be a tricky part to complete, so many people prefer to seek the advice of an accountant. If you are going it alone, then you'll need to visit the HMRC website to find out more.

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4. Think about using an accountant

While it can be tempting to want to handle tax returns by yourself, the stress and lost work time they cause can actually make doing it alone bad for your business. Many sole traders and business owners let a qualified accountant do their return - these professionals will handle all the necessary work for you and avoid you having to stay up to date on the constantly changing laws around tax.

PLEASE NOTE: HMRC No longer accepting personal credit card payments.

If you are planning to pay your self-assessment tax bill (due no later than 31 January 2018) with your credit card HMRC will no longer accept personal credit card payments after 12 January 2018. This goes for all tax payments, not just those for self-assessment.

If you were relying on paying a tax bill due on or after 13 January by personal credit card, e.g. your PAYE bill for December, you will have to pay before the deadline or use a business banking credit card.

If you are looking for a professional, experienced firm of chartered accountants in the Sussex area, then give us a call today. We cover a whole range of tax and accountancy issues, so we can help make your life easier, whatever your requirements.


To discuss your self assessment get in touch with our Business Services Partner Robert:

Email: robertw@swindellsaccounting.co.uk

Tel: 01825 763366

Robert east sussex accountants

Key Dates:

Online tax return due date: Midnight 31st of January 2018

Pay the tax you owe: Midnight 31st of January 2018

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