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Tax return tips

This article contains useful information to help you complete your tax return.

Self assessment diary

Please note the following self assessment tax dates.

30 September

Your tax return for the year ended on the previous 5 April must be submitted to HM Revenue & Customs by this date if you want them to calculate your tax position.

If your underpayment for the year is below £2000, you can ask for this to be included in your notice of coding if your tax return is submitted by this day.

31 January

All tax returns for the year ended on the previous 5 April must be submitted by this date.

If HM Revenue & Customs is intending to enquire into your tax return for the year ending 5 April in the previous tax year, they must inform you of this by this day.

Balancing payment for the year ended on the previous 5 April and the first payment on account for the current year is due for payment by this day.

Rejection of tax returns

HM Revenue & Customs will reject your self assessment tax return form if it is not fully completed. The most common reasons for rejection are:

  • A tick on page 2 of the form next to one of the questions 1 to 9, to indicate there are additional pages to be attached to the form, but no additional pages were attached before submission.
  • Where more than one employment applied, separate employment sheets were not completed for each employment.
  • Notes such as "Per P60" or "To Be Advised" as this is no longer acceptable under the self assessment rules. If, for example, the P60 is not available you should estimate the gross income and tax deducted, stating when the actual figures will be known.
  • Not all the sections on pages 3 to 10 have been completed. If there is nothing to be entered in a section you should indicate this by ticking the "no" box next to each question.
  • The tax return is not signed and dated on page 10.
  • Not fully completing the self-employment supplementary pages (especially from boxes 3.74 onwards).
  • Entering the list price of a company car instead of the taxable benefit (as shown on form P11D) in box 1.16 on page E1 of the employment pages.
  • Detailing information on a separate schedule instead of including it on the self-assessment tax return form.
  • Entering the net figure of employee personal pension premiums on page 5 of the form, instead of the gross amount.
  • Not completing question 19 on page 8 of the form, even when a repayment of tax was due.

Tax return enquiry

If your tax return is submitted to HM Revenue & Customs late, they will be able to extend the period to enquire into your tax return from the 31 January in the following tax year, to the 30 April.

For example, for the year ended 5 April 2007, the return is due for submission by 31 January 2008. If the return is late, then the enquiry period will be extended from 31 January 2008 to 30 April 2008.

Round down figures

When filling in your tax return round down income figures to the nearest pound (e.g. £22.99 becomes £22). For expenses round up the figures (e.g. £486.22 becomes £487).

You can also round up tax credits and tax deductions. If there are a number of tax credits (e.g. a list of dividends) you should round up the total figure not each individual amount.

Advise of chargeability

Even if you are not issued with a self assessment tax return form, it is your duty to inform HM Revenue & Customs of your chargeability to tax by 5 October following the end of the tax year.

Other sources of income

If you receive income from a source and you cannot find where it is entered on the tax return and supporting schedules, you should enter it under question 13, providing further details under the additional information box on page 8 of the return.

Provisional figures

If you tick box 23.2 on page 9 of the tax return to show that some of the figures are estimated, you must advise HM Revenue & Customs of the correct amounts as soon as they are available. You have a year from the submission date (31 January) in which to provide confirmed figures.

You should state in the additional information box when you expect to be able to provide the correct figures.

Copy your return

Before sending your return to HM Revenue & Customs, make a copy of it for your records. If HM Revenue & Customs raises a query about the form, it will be easier to discuss the problem with them.

Do you need a tax return?

It may be that you have completed a tax return for a number of years. If your tax affairs are now relatively straightforward, you may not need to complete one. HM Revenue & Customs is keen to remove people from the self assessment system if they no longer fall within the various categories. Write to your tax office advising them of your situation.

Blind persons allowance

You may still be able to claim the blind persons allowance for 2006/2007, even if 2007/2008 is the first year you are on the register, provided you already had evidence of blindness before 6 April 2006. This is usually an ophthalmologist's certificate on which the local authority subsequently based your registration.


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