Around a million self-assessment tax returns are submitted every year in the week before the 31st of January deadline. Here’s some last minute help and tips with your self-assessment.
Deadline: this year’s deadline is days away. Are you organised? Do you have all your password and activation codes to hand? Make sure you have information like this at the ready so to avoid a £100 late filing penalty!
First timers: if this is your first self-assessment then you may not have realized that you need to register with the Government Gateway and sign up to HMRC’s online services. HMRC require an activation code, which is posted to you and takes around 5 working days (sometimes longer). So if you haven’t done this already then you may not make the deadline. However…
Tip 1. If you do miss the deadline, chances are you won’t be charged a penalty if you can prove that you were still waiting on the activation code at the time the deadline passed. You must file you return as soon as you receive it though. So even if a penalty notice is issued, HMRC will probably cancel it if you appeal and can prove you were still waiting on your code.
If, for any reason, you can’t find your self-assessment online ID or password then don’t despair…
Tip 2. If you know your password then you can apply for a new one online. This will be given to you in two parts (one immediately on screen and the other by email). If you haven’t registered an email with HMRC then the second part is sent by post. In this instance, refer to Tip 3.
Tip 3. Lost your ID or password? You will struggle to make the deadline, as the replacements will be sent by post. According to HMRC this usually takes two working days, but in our experience may take a day or two longer. Nevertheless, you should apply and if they don’t arrive in time to file your return by the deadline make an appeal along the lines explained in Tip 1.
If you are unable to wait this long for any of the above steps then there is an alternative…
Tip 4. Sign into your GOV.UK account. If you don’t have one then you can set one up which can take anything between 20-40 minutes. Once completed you can get into your HMRC self-assessment account, then complete and file your tax return.
Final check: having completed your tax return and clicked the “Submit” button, make sure you save a screenshot of the “Transmission successful” message which then appears on the screen.
If you haven’t got your self-assessment tax return submitted yet then we hope some of these tips help. And if the worst come to the worst, you can always call Ghostbusters.
For more help or info call us today on 0141 345 2335.