Whether you complete your tax returns online or by the traditional paper method, you’re probably already acutely aware of the importance of getting it right. Whether it is knowing your exact income so you’re left with the correct level of tax to pay or knowing your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), everything needs to be accurate so you always pay the right amount of tax and have no problems managing your tax affairs or finances going forward.
Completing the Tax Return
The first part of the tax return you need to complete is the main page (SA100). Here, you simply fill in your basic details, such as your name, address, and UTR. From here, you simply move onto the additional pages that are relevant to your income.
The additional pages are:
- Income from self-employment
- Income from regular employment
- Income from property in the UK
- Any other income and gains
Filling these pages in is easy, however you will find instructions either online or on the physical form if you need any assistance.
Self-Employed Tax Return
There are two different pages for those who are self-employed; be sure to use the correct one. SA103S will be used if your income was less than £77,000, while SA103F will be used if your income exceeds this.
If You Don’t Have Exact Numbers
Although the tax return deadlines mean you have enough time to calculate the exact figures, if you don’t have them, you can still submit your return.
- You can submit an estimate, which HMRC will take to be your exact figure.
- You can submit a provisional figure, which means you’ll need to confirm the final amount later.
Remember that if you submit an estimate, you could end up paying more or less tax than you need to, which could affect your future finances. You’ll also need to tell HMRC why you don’t have the correct figures.
Mistakes to Avoid
Simple mistakes are easy to make, but they’re easy to avoid, too. If your tax return contains any errors then HMRC won’t be able to process it, which could cause a problem if you’re sending it close to the deadline.
Here are some of the most common errors that you should be careful to avoid:
- Forgetting to sign and date the form.
- Not including all supplementary pages relevant to your circumstances.
- Downloading the wrong form or inputting incorrect details.
- Writing ‘information to follow’ in the ‘Additional Information’ sections; HMRC want everything at once!
- Using a tax form for the incorrect year.
You can avoid most of these by completing your tax return online, although you should be careful to ensure all of the data you submit is still correct.