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Advice On Doing Your Tax Return

Everyone has to pay taxes. If you don’t then you threaten everything you’ve worked so hard for, including your freedom! So it’s important to do your tax return and get it completed before the deadline. If you’re newly self-employed then here’s some guidance on the process.

Register With HMRC

Firstly, you’ll need to register as self-employed if you haven’t already. Registering will give you a unique tax reference number that you’ll need in order to submit a tax return. Registering is easy and can be done online or by filling into a form and sending it in the post.

You should register as soon as you start earning money because it can take a while for the process of registering to be completed and you don’t want that if time is against you.

Hire An Accountant

If it’s too much for you to deal with, perhaps you’re too busy, or you don’t fully understand how to do one, then you might want to hire an accountant to sort it out for you. They can do the process for you on your behalf, or talk it through. Regardless of the situation companies like Forbes Burton can help.

Put It All On A Spreadsheet

You’ll need to have noted down all the income that you’ve earnt through your self-employment so get your online bank account open or get your bank statements posted to you, and put it all on a spreadsheet. You’ll also want to take any photos or send evidence of your expenses too. Expenses are great because you can claim them towards your tax. It means that you may end up paying less tax than expected so hold onto anything you’ve brought for the business.

For example, if you run an online business, you can claim on the cost of any software, electronics, and travel you might use that you need to run the business.

Get Your Tax Return Done ASAP

It isn’t surprising that so many leave submitting their tax return to the very last minute. At the start of 2018, 2.6 million people had still not filed their return by the 29th January – that’s nearly a quarter of those needing to file! As you’re able to get it done as early as April, it can save a lot of hassle and stress. If you don’t get the return done on time, the tax man will slap you with a hefty fine until you submit it.

Take Some Time Off

Instead of trying to do everything at once, set aside some time where your sole focus is the tax return. Yes, you could do it over a few weeks in the evenings, but you need time to concentrate, and sometimes we can be distracted when other stuff is going on.

Submitting a tax return needn’t be stressful so ask for advice off others, call the HMRC if you need help but expect it to get busier the closer the deadline gets, especially in January. It’s only once a year that you need to do it and you may even get a surprise tax refund if you’re lucky.

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