Lessons Learnt From The Tax Return: All The Things Not To Do
It has been another high-stress deadline. January 2020 was no different to other years – a number of people were still leaving their Self Assessment tax return submission until the last minute. With such pressure comes…
10 Minute Read
Updated: 03 Mar 2020 Created: 14 Feb 2020
It has been another high-stress deadline. January 2020 was no different to other years – a number of people were still leaving their Self Assessment tax return submission until the last minute.
With such pressure comes the risk of more mistakes. And these errors are useful to bring up, because they reinforce why an accurate Self Assessment is so crucial. Fines and further penalties are always waiting for poor paperwork.
Let’s assess what the biggest blunders are for submission, and what they can teach us…us
Forgetting about payments on account
If your last Self Assessment bill was more than £1,000, you may have to make a ‘payment on account’ too – covering half of the previous year’s tax bill by midnight 31st January, and the second half by midnight 31st July.
Many taxpayers forget this when they exceed that £1,000 threshold. The deadline for submitting online and paying the first payment on account (as well as the ‘balancing payment’ for any remaining tax not paid last year) is the same.
For payments on account, it’s assumed you’ll be earning as much next year as you do now, which means you have to ensure the bill is based on current earnings.
Employers using the wrong tax codes
Countless taxpayers give HMRC more cash than they’re meant to, simply because they don’t have the right tax codes.
Remember that the codes change with the way in which you earn. Receiving additional income, or experiencing changes to your income or benefits and allowances, can cause your tax code to be updated by HMRC. Quite often, an unexpected tax bill can be caused by an error with your tax code. When your tax code is changed, don’t ignore it.
Use our guide here to double-check your current tax code, and see whether a new one might apply.
Taking excuses too far
One carpenter in 2019 tried to claim for a 55-inch TV and sound system, explaining that it was necessary for his work. Another taxpayer said they were too short to reach the postbox, thereby missing the postal deadline.
The government will help with genuine claims. Others – such as trying your luck with personal expenses, or giving bogus reasons for a late tax return – are easy to see through.
Forgetting to list all of your income
Non-PAYE earnings don’t just count as self-employed income. You may be taking cash from a pension, rental property, or another asset. These need to be listed and included in the calculations on your Self Assessment tax return too.
Direct employment might also be relevant here. You could be entitled to relief on things you’ve paid for on behalf of work, from your own pocket. There’s no sense in missing out on reclaimed tax, so make sure you log it all.
These are just a couple of slip-ups for the average taxpayer. We want to hear about yours – anything you’ve done, or heard about, that would qualify as a big lesson for the next Self Assessment deadline. Feel free to reach out on our social channels, and tell us what we might add. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
In the meantime, if you’re late filing, don’t delay any longer. Use GoSimpleTax and submit your Self Assessment tax return before you incur any further penalties. Sign up today, and get a mobile software tool that stays as simple as you need it to be.
Last updated: 14th February 2020.
Trusted by over 10,000 subscribers
You don't need to be an expert to complete your self assessment tax return.
Managing your finances has never been so easy.
Start you self assessment tax return today for free.Get Started
A Guide To Being A Self-Employed Hairdresser
16 Jun 2020
How To Succeed (Financially) As A Personal Trainer
08 Jun 2020
Get Your Finances In Order: Essential Lessons From A Personal Trainer
28 May 2020
How GoSimpleTax Works
Simply register for free with your full name and email address.
Select Your Income
Select the income you receive and follow the hints and tips for potential tax savings.
Validate Your Information
Validate your personal information and submit directly to HMRC to get confirmation in just seconds.
Work Anywhere, With Any Device
Gone are the days of fretting over a calculator surrounded by scraps of paper at the eleventh hour.
GoSimpleTax’s tax return software uses the information you upload in real time to calculate your income and expenditure, working out the tax you owe and sending you helpful notifications when there’s the possibility of a mistake.
"The software is intuitive and proved very easy to navigate. I found the whole process refreshingly simple. I saved a lot of money too!"
"Easy to use and value for money. Everything you need to do your tax."
"It fills in all the forms and sends them to the Inland Revenue. Not expensive either. Takes the stress out of doing your tax return online."