Today marks the start of the new tax year, so now seems as good a time as any to talk about submitting your self assessment tax return. I know the deadline isn’t until January, but that’s the final deadline, not when you should start thinking about it!

Now I’m not suggesting that you submit by the end of this week, but there are two very good reasons as to why you should start thinking about your return sooner rather than later.

1) If you leave it until January you’re having to look back almost 2 years to the beginning of the tax year. I don’t know about you but sometimes I struggle to remember what happened 2 weeks ago, never mind 2 years, and if you miss some deductible expenses you’re going to end up paying more tax than you needed to. The information you provide is much more likely to be accurate if things are still fresh in your memory. Of course a much better way to ensure accuracy is by making sure you keep your records up to date throughout the year, so if you didn’t do this last year now is a good time to turn over a new leaf.

2) Even if you were you to file today you still wouldn’t need to pay your tax over to HMRC until January, so if you haven’t been putting money aside throughout the year you’ll have plenty of time to build this into your planning. But, if you’re due a refund you’ll receive this just a few weeks after submitting your return, so if you think a refund is likely it definitely makes sense to submit as early as you can.

If, however, any of your income throughout the year has come from employment you’ll need to wait until you receive your P60 and P11d (if relevant) before rushing off to submit your return. Your employer has until 31st May to provide your P60 and 6th July for your P11d. While you’re waiting for these I’d advise that you put together as much of your return as possible, so that once you receive the documents from your employer you can simply fill in the blanks. If you’re submitting the return yourself you can save your progress, and come back to it as many times as you need to, before pressing that submit button.

Find the whole thing confusing and stressful? I’d love to speak with you about how I can make the process smooth and pain-free (well, apart from the actual paying the tax part, that is!), why not arrange a no-obligation call?

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