Belfast Telegraph

Tax Return deadline looms: 31 October 2015

Huston’s Taxing Problem 645

If you want to file your 2014/15 Tax Return on paper you have until 31 October to get it in to an HMRC office. 

If you send them a paper return after that they will still accept it. The sad thing is that they will fine you £100.

This is because the deadline for filing paper returns is 31 October 2015. After that date you have two choices.  Continue and submit a paper return, by 31 January 2016, and accept a penalty of £100.  Or you can file online, again by 31 January 2016, and save the £100 fine.

So if you are trying to get your tax return done, here’s what you need to pull together:

  • P60 for 2014/15
  • State benefits received (the taxable amount)
  • Self-employed income and expenses
  • Bank and building society interest
  • Gift Aid payments to charities and churches
  • Rental income and associated expenses

If you cannot find your P60 your wages department should be able to tell you what your pay and tax was for the year.  Or you can pour a large cup of coffee and go on hold to HMRC.  Call them on 0300 200 3300.  Expect to have a long wait. (6pm to 740pm might be a good time to call.  They can tell you the 2014/15 pay and tax details they are holding, so long as you can correctly name the employer. That is sometimes harder than you think!

If you decide to file your tax return online you need to have log-in details for HMRC.  If you find some you used ages ago, it is a good idea to check if you can still access your “Self Assessment” record.

Check your log-in by going to the left hand side of this link. There is some chance of getting back lost login details, but the system is a bit fussy.

If you have never filed online before you can register at the right hand side of the same page.

To register you will need to have your National Insurance number and your special Self Assessment reference. It is called a UTR – for Unique Taxpayer Reference.

Get yourself registered now, even if you are not ready to file the return.  This is because HMRC has to post you out an Activation Code.  Then you log back in, put in the code, and you are good to go!

The most important thing about filing tax returns is that the longer you delay the more stressed you become.  Get started today and life will be nicer.

  • Adrian Huston, a former tax inspector, is a director of Belfast tax and accountancy firm Huston & Co – or 028 9080 6080. Twitter @HustonTax

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